How much is an Oscar really worth?

The Oscar statuettes cost $400 each to make, but can sell on the open market for thousands.

How much is that shiny, gold Oscar statuette actually worth?

$1, according to Forbes.

Forbes reported that Oscar winners sign an agreement saying that neither they nor their heirs will sell their statuettes without giving the Academy first dibs — at the price of $1. This agreement has existed since 1950, Forbes noted, and any winner who won't sign it won't get their award.

But that hasn't stopped some post-1950s statuettes from selling.

Forbes said about 75 statuettes from after 1950 are believed to have been sold, and for well more than $1; the going price in the open market is as much as $1.5 million and rarely less than $60,000.

But what are the statuettes really worth?

CBS Moneywatch reported that each one, made of gold-plated pewter, costs about $400 to make. By comparison, a Golden Globe statue costs about $800 to manufacture, according to GenXRadio. In 2009, a Tony won by Gertrude Berg was estimated to sell for $1,000-$1,200, the LA Times reported.

That accounts for the raw materials, but not the boost that Oscar winners see after their victories.

CBS reported that the Best Picture winners net an extra $14 million in box office revenue after their win, on average. This year, the profit could be $15 million, or about 15 percent of total box office ticket sales, CBS said.

Talent agents and their clients have a stake in the awards as well. CBS said actors get about a 20 percent boost in pay in their next film after winning Best Actor or Actress.

Even nominees who don't win get an Oscar bump. Films that are nominated tend to see a spike in predicted profits and wider distribution. CBS reported that in the past four years, movies that were merely nominated but didn't win an award got $20 million extra in profits before the awards and $5 million more afterward, on average.


An Oscar isn't the only award with a big payoff for Hollywood. It turns out that Golden Globes mean a great deal more than Academy Awards at the box office for winning films. A Golden Globe win is worth $14.2 million on average (plus or minus $7.49 million), compared with $3 million (plus or minus $1.5 million) for an Oscar. Films get this boost after the awards show even if they are only nominated and do not win the award. Some of the big winners at the Oscars may profit more than Golden Globes winners.

Last year, Forbes reported that a Grammy can boost concert ticket sales and producer fees by 55 percent the year after it's won. For Bruno Mars, that meant making $130,000 a night from a concert to $202,000, according to Forbes.

Even Broadway gets a boost from awards. Gawker reported that the Tony Award winner for Best Musical in 2010 saw a boost in weekly profits of 50 percent (from $626,309 to $932,456).


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