February is Oscars season in Hollywood. It’s the time of year in Tinseltown when prestige dramas (and this year, a musical) shove big-budget action franchises out of the limelight.
Hollywood studios usually shell out millions of dollars promoting their films—not to moviegoers, but to Academy Award voters—in a crush of digital and print ads, screening parties, DVD shipments, and the occasional billboard.
Studios typically stay mum on the subject of how much they spend to bolster their respective Oscar hopefuls. But Tom O’Neil, a Hollywood journalist and founder of awards website GoldDerby.com, cites the most common estimate, pegging the total at $100 million each year for the whole industry. With just over 7,000 Academy members, that’s at least $14,000 per voter.
At stake is the coveted “Oscar bump”: Oscar-nominated films tend to earn more money once they win a golden statue. That was the case last year, when Spotlight saw a 140% spike in domestic ticket sales a week after it was named Best Picture.
But that return on investment is far from assured. Says O’Neil: “Hollywood spends more than $100 million per year to win a statuette that costs only $1,000 to manufacture—that’s proof that the whole town is crazy.”
A version of this article appears in the February 1, 2017 issue of Fortune with the headline “The Hidden Figures of the Oscars Ad Blitz.”