'Society of the Snow' heads to Oscars as one of Netflix's most-watched movies in 2024

J.A. Bayona's acclaimed film has been viewed online by 93 million people worldwide

Movie still from 'Society of the Snow'
Movie still from 'Society of the Snow' / Netflix
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

March 7, 2024 11:02 AM

March 7, 2024 11:37 AM

J.A. Bayona's 'Society of the Snow' heads to the Oscars this weekend with a chance to win two statuettes, one for Best International Film and one for Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

The acclaimed film about the 1972 plane crash in the Andes is one of the most watched titles on Netflix worldwide this year, reaching 93 million viewers as of last week. 

During the first seven weeks of the year, the Catalan director's film ranked third on Netflix worldwide with 81 million viewers, surpassed only by 'Lift' with 98.9 million viewers and the series 'Fool me once' with 90.5 million.

"The numbers of 'Society of the Snow' are incredible; it is difficult for a movie to hold this position in the Netflix rankings for so long," says film expert Pau Brunet.

Despite only being in theaters for three weeks, 'Society of the Snow' has sold nearly half a million tickets in Spanish theaters, generating €3.5 million, according to the Spanish Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts (ICAA).

Bayona's film also outperformed all of its competing nominees in Spanish theaters, with 'Perfect Days' selling 192,000 tickets, 'The Zone of Interest' 135,000, 'The Teachers' Lounge' 135,000 and 'Io Capitano' 37,000.

Society of the Snow is also the highest-budgeted film among the nominees for Best International Feature, with a budget of approximately €60 million, according to The Movie DB and IMDB.

Specifically, 'Io Capitano' had an investment of €11.2 million, 'Perfect Days' almost €13 million and 'The Zone of Interest' reached €13.9 million. No data is available for 'The Teachers' Lounge'.

Can it really win an Oscar?

Film expert Pau Brunet thinks it would be "very exceptional" for "Society of the Snow" to win the Oscar for Best International Film. Similarly, film journalist Jordi Picatoste considers it "difficult or almost impossible".

"It would be an incredible surprise," he says. Both believe that 'The Zone of Interest,' Jonathan Glazer's Auschwitz drama, is the favorite, as it is also nominated for Best Picture.  

"It continues the trend of the last 20 years where a movie nominated in both categories ends up winning the International Oscar," says Brunet. 

In the United States, however, Bayona's film has been a "very significant, widespread and high-profile" phenomenon, garnering a lot of attention.  

"Of the five nominees [for best international film], it's the one that the public knows best," Brunet adds.

Robot Dreams: Budget clash

While 'Society of the Snow' boasts the largest audience and budget among rival nominees, 'Robot Dreams', the other Catalan film nominated for an Oscar in the Best Animated Feature category, faces a completely different scenario.

The film, by Basque director Pablo Berger, finds itself on an uneven playing field when it comes to numbers compared to its competitors in the category, most of which are blockbuster productions with million-dollar budgets.

Among them, Pixar's 'Elemental' stands out with a budget of €184.9 million and 'Spider-Man: Crossing the Multiverse' with €138.7 million, while 'Robot Dreams' has a budget of only six million euros.