The 87th annual Academy Awards takes place this Sunday in Los Angeles, California. For those planning to watch Neil Patrick Harris host this year’s Oscars, here are eight interesting facts you should know about the 2015 show:
1. Best picture increase — Last year, “12 Years a Slave” walked away with the best picture win, but it wasn’t easily won. In 2013, 288 films were eligible for the monumental award. This year, the competition noticeably increased. According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, 323 films were eligible for a best picture nomination.
2. Large viewing audience — The 2014 Oscars, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, raked in an estimated 43.7 million viewers in the U.S. This year, more than several hundred million viewers are expected to tune in. The 2015 telecast will air in more than 225 countries. No pressure, Harris.
3. Governor’s Ball — Following the completion of the 87th annual awards, the ceremony attendees have the option to pay a visit to the Governor’s Ball. While the Governor’s Ball is a long-standing tradition for the academy, the party will only be celebrating its 57th anniversary this year. The first Governor’s Ball took place March 26, 1958 following the 30th Oscars. It was held at the Beverly Grand Hilton.
4. It takes a village — They say it takes a village to raise a child, the same can also be said for putting on the Oscars. There will be 40 ushers/ticket takers present at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles Sunday. Approximately 300 Oscar telecast production employees and over 350 crew members will also be on staff.
5. One less Oscar — During the 86th annual Academy Awards, 51 Oscar statuettes were handed out. At this year’s show, there will be one less winner. According to the academy, only 50 Oscar statues were made ahead of the show. In total, 2,951 Oscars have been presented since the first Academy Awards in 1929.
6. Honorary Oscars — With a historically long run time, the academy can’t always recognize everyone they would like to during the Oscars telecast. However, in November, several members of the entertainment industry, including: director Hayao Miyazaki, screenwriter/actor Jean-Claude Carrière, and actress Maureen O’Hara were gifted with honorary awards. Civil rights activist and actor Harry Belafonte was also presented with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian trophy.
7. Press — Hundreds of members of the press will be present to report on the 87th annual award show. Out of 915 press organizations that requested access to this year’s ceremony, only 269 were approved. Last year, 1,676 reporters were given credentials for the event.
8. Voting party — The number of academy members has noticeably increased in the past year. In 2013, only 6,028 members were on hand to pick the winners. This time around, 6,124 members of the entertainment community will be voting.