Nine movies are competing for the best picture prize in this year’s Oscar contest, many of them smaller titles that have earned anywhere from $6 million to $40 million so far.
Now that this year’s Oscar nominations have been unveiled, which of the nine best picture contenders stand to benefit at the box office?
Two of the nine have nothing to gain beyond the honor of being nominated: Jordan Peele’s innovative horror-thriller Get Out and Christopher Nolan’s World War II epic Dunkirk, both of which are long gone from theaters.
Conversely, those primed for the biggest boost include Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, which picked up a total 13 nominations, the most of any film; Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me by Your Name; and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread. That’s because all three titles held back in terms of expanding pending Oscar nominations, which were announced Tuesday morning. Steven Spielberg’s The Post is also well situated since it’s been in nationwide release for less than two weeks.
Last year, Moonlight had earned $15.9 million at the U.S. box office when nominated for best picture by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, according to comScore. It would go on to earn another $12 million, thanks to the buzz surrounding the Oscar race and Moonlight‘s eventual win over La La Land.
Landing a spot in the coveted best picture race almost always leads to some sort of box-office bump, and is a powerful promotional tool for specialty films that don’t have huge marketing budgets or a clear commercial hook (get ready for a flood of new materials touting the glory of Oscar). Films competing in other top Academy Award categories can likewise see boosts, although the halo effect isn’t as strong.
Thanks in large measure to the might of Get Out and Dunkirk, the nine best picture nominees — many of which nabbed multiple noms — have earned a combined $566.2 million at the North American box office, up from last year’s $483.9 million. And there’s time now for that number to grow higher.
Dunkirk and Get Out have set a bar none of the other best picture nominees can come close to meeting. Get Out, released by Universal in February 2017, earned a record-breaking $175.7 million domestically and $254.7 million globally against a $4.5 million budget. Invading theaters in July, Dunkirkgrossed $188.4 million domestically and $337.2 million worldwide for Warner Bros.
Beyond those two, the box-office totals fall off dramatically.
(Excerpt) Read More in: The Hollywood Reporter