Oscars By The Numbers: Which Best Picture Nominees Have The Most To Gain At The Box Office?

on January 16, 2014

12 Years A Slave
Domestic Gross as of 1/14/14:  $39 million

12 Years A Slave has plenty of room to grow at the box office. Most pundits now agree that it's the one to beat for Best Picture, and once that word spreads to the paying public more money will start rolling in. Yes, the film is tough to sit through. Does that mean it's doomed to post an underwhelming gross? Absolutely not. There are plenty of Oscar winners--Schindler's List and Platoon, for instance--that didn't sugarcoat tough subjects. We'll be surprised if 12 Years doesn't end up with at least $60 million during its domestic run. 

American Hustle
Domestic Gross as of 1/14/14:
$103.6 million

Director David O. Russell is no stranger to the financial benefits of Oscar attention. His two previous efforts--The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook--received significant boosts after snagging Best Pic nods. American Hustle is already on pace to top the healthy $132 million domestic haul of Silver Linings, and Oscar attention will only make it easier to pass that mark. Russell has accomplished something that few directors can: he's a commercially viable helmer who receives plenty of Oscar attention. 

Domestic Gross as of 1/14/14:
$22.3 million

Never underestimate the power of The Weinstein Company when it comes to making sure a Best Pic nominee--or winner, which has been the case recently with The Artist and The King's Speech--makes as much as it can at the box office. Philomena is TWC's only horse in the race, so count on a strong marketing blitz and other grassroots efforts aimed at raking in more cash. A domestic haul of at least $40 million seems likely for Philomena

Dallas Buyers Club
Domestic Gross as of 1/14/14: $16.8 million

The Academy is clearly in love with this true story. A Best Picture nod combined with the growing notion that Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto are on their way to winning acting prizes will raise the stature of DBC considerably. Now it's on Focus to make sure that the paying public doesn't miss one of the most moving and endearing films of the year. Pushing DBC to $25 million-$30 million shouldn't be too hard.


Domestic Gross as of 1/14/14:
$9.9 million

Spike Jonze's sci-fi flick definitely needed a boost from the Academy. The Warner Bros. release is coming of an underwhelming expansion this past weekend: Her took in only $5.3 million after boosting its location count to 1,729. While Her may still be a little too quirky for mainstream consumption, a Best Pic nod guarantees that more people will give it a chance. Hitting $25 million would be an accomplishment for Her.


Domestic Gross as of 1/14/14:
$8.5 million

Director Alexander Payne is becoming a pro at landing Best Pic nominations. His last three films--Sideways, The Descendants and now Nebraska--have obtained a coveted slot on the list. Nebraska is a little too bleak and dry to do the kind of business that Sideways ($71.5 million domestically) and The Descendants ($82.7 million domestically) did, but it should see a nice surge in attendance. A domestic haul of $15 million-$20 million seems realistic.


The Wolf of Wall Street
Domestic Gross as of 1/14/14: $80.7 million

Martin Scorsese's epic of drugs, womanizing and debauchery may be dividing moviegoers, but the Academy clearly loves it enough to throw five nominations its way. Wolf is already a must-see film due to the controversy it's causing, but this rush of Oscar attention can only help it. The Paramount release should breeze past $100 million in North America.  

Captain Phillips
Domestic Gross as of 1/14/14: $105 million

Sony is sending Captain Phillips back to more theaters this weekend, but the action flick has already had such an impressive theatrical run that we're not sure it has much to gain. Also, Tom Hanks' Best Actor snub will hurt its momentum a bit. 

Domestic Gross as of 1/14/14:
$256.3 million

Now is the time for stragglers to finally catch the ground-breaking theatrical experience that is Gravity. If rave reviews from critics and casual moviegoers weren't enough, maybe Oscar attention will finally sway holdouts. Still, the space flick is already such a massive hit that we doubt it has a lot of room to grow.





Tags: 12 Years A Slave, American Hustle, Gravity, Philomena, Her, Nebraska

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