Disney Was The Biggest Oscars Winner, Netflix the Biggest Loser

Netflix has—almost unquestionably—been lauded as this year's major Oscar winner. Although the steaming giant clinched the highest number of awards on the night, its seven-trophy haul failed to scoop up any major awards, only landing smaller prizes.

The night's more prestigious titles went to rival Disney, which took home best picture, director and actress for Nomadland, with the veteran Hollywood studio landing its first big picture win since Chicago and best director for Chloé Zhao who helms Eternals, the biggest Marvel movie of this year.

In fact, Netflix's much-anticipated David Fincher film Mank amassed the most nominations but failed to actually win any major awards. Similarly, its highly publicized Trial of the Chicago 7, directed by Hollywood heavyweight Aaron Sorkin, garnered most nominations for any film but went home empty-handed.

Netflix had a big night at the #Oscars, leading all studios with a total of seven trophies. But the streamer came up empty in the best picture and acting categories. https://t.co/4vXWVxYrem pic.twitter.com/D5P52celOW

— Variety (@Variety) April 26, 2021

Mank's failure to take home any major awards reflected a recurring theme for the streaming giant: throwing weight and lavish award campaigns behind a prestige picture helmed by a veteran director with a slew of nominations but ultimately failing to land any of the big prizes. Last year, it was an all too familiar story for The Irishman.

Although Netflix headed into Sunday's 93rd annual Academy Awards ceremony with 36 Oscar nominations across 17 films, it only managed to claim seven wins for arguably less notable awards. Disney snagged the second-highest tally with five awards, including best picture, director and actress in three of the night's more prestigious prizes.

In fact, Nomadland heralded a victorious new chapter in Disney's foray into the streaming domain, winning best picture and two other top-tier titles after being picked up from Searchlight Pictures as part of the studio's $71 billion acquisition of 20th Century Fox back in 2019.

Nomadland continued to dominate the awards with Frances McDormand nabbing best actress for her role as a grief-struck widow roaming through the American West. Best director went to Chloé Zhao who made history as the first-ever woman of color and Asian woman to take the prize. Zhao is only the second woman to win the best director award in Oscar history.

Disney's computer animation powerhouse Pixar won best animated feature film and original score for Soul, an Academy Awards first for the studio.

Disney's notable Oscar victories mark a threat to Netflix as the company fights to maintain its dominance in the streaming video space. Netflix added fewer global subscribers than expected in the most recent quarter as rival video services including HBO Max and Disney+ take market share, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Newsweek has contacted Netflix and Disney for comment.

Chloe Zhao Oscars
Director/Producer Chloe Zhao, winner of Best Directing and Best Picture for 'Nomadland,' poses with her awards at the Oscars on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at Union Station in Los Angeles. Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Images