This year, the advertisers are better known than the movies.
After being threatened by the Hollywood writers strike, the 80th Annual Academy Awards telecast will roll on Sunday with its customary glamour and coterie of stars. That's a huge relief for Walt Disney Co.'s ABC television network, which had sold most of the show's commercial time before November, when the strike began, for an average $1.8 million for each 30-second spot, an increase of nearly 6% from the previous year.
The Oscars are one of TV's biggest events. It's a favorite of advertisers, who plunk down millions of dollars to be associated with Hollywood -- even during a year like this one, when TV viewing levels are down and most people haven't even seen the films that have been nominated for top honors.
Only "Juno," the story of a pregnant teenager, has topped $100 million at the box office. The other films competing for best picture -- "No Country For Old Men," "Atonement," "Michael Clayton" and "There Will Be Blood" -- each have grossed less than $65 million in theaters.
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