On Oscar night, after climbing the stage steps in Dolby Theatre, accepting a nearly 9-pound statuette and thanking the Academy, every award winner agrees to comply with the “spirit as well as the letter” of the Academy’s regulations.
As stated in regulation note 10 under “Copyrights and Trademarks,” Academy Award winners “shall not sell or otherwise dispose of the Oscar statuette, nor permit it to be sold or disposed of by operation of law, without first offering to sell it to the Academy for the sum of $1.00.”
By this measure, Meryl Streep could make a $3 profit off selling her three Oscars. So could Daniel Day Lewis and Jack Nicholson. Sally Field, Mahershala Ali and Tom Hanks could each pocket $2 for their twin trophies. And, after six failed attempts, Leonardo DiCaprio may finally sell his singular Academy Award of Merit for four quarters.
You’ll have no luck approaching Anne Hathaway, her on-screen grandmother Julie Andrews or other celebrities around New York and offering a buck for their Oscars. They and their heirs may only sell the solid-bronze, 24-karat-gold-plated statuette to the Academy, not you. Not in New York, not in their home state, not on vacation, not even for a dollar.
Prior to 2016, the Academy bought back Oscars for $10 and prior to 1951, there was no return regulation at all, complicating which statuettes may or may not be sold. Oscar-winner Steven Spielberg has famously bought pre-regulation Oscars, like Clark Gable’s Best Actor award and one of Bette Davis’ two Best Actress trophies, at auction. After each purchase, Spielberg has returned the statue to the Academy.
Despite the buy-back rule, it is clear an Oscar’s is worth more than anything on your favorite fast food chain’s dollar menu. Reports suggest each Oscar costs $400 to make. However, Spielberg bought Davis’ for $578,000 and Gable’s for $607,500. Luckily, you don’t need an Oscar to feel close to your favorite award-winning films. Visit these 51 famous movie locations instead.