Oscar 2011: The Buzz And The Biz
Well how about it? Exactly thirty-four days have passed since the Academy has given out the golden statuettes. The box office results of the nine Best Picture nominees also have a lot to say too. Some good, some bad.
Box Office Mojo does it every year. They have charts of the Oscar nominees and winners. They also have a special Best Picture chart where they divide the grosses into Pre-Nom (before the nominations are announced), Post-Nom (after the nominations are announced) and Post-Awards: after the Oscars are decided. Here are the charts of reference:
This year’s charts shows some interesting stats involving the nominees. Four movies–The Tree of Life, Moneyball, The Help and Midnight In Paris–had already completed their box office runs long before the nominations. Some opened again after the nominations were announced but it attracted modest-size crowds compared to its heydays months earlier. War Horse opened late in the year but it had already neared its total gross just before the nominations were announced and the nominations had very little effect on its gross.
The movies with the biggest boosts of the Oscar nominations were Hugo, The Descendants, The Artist and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Hugo grossed most of its total share before the nominations but the Oscar nominations helped increase its gross an additional $13 million before the Oscars. Oscar wins helped give Hugo an extra $4 million even though it was already on DVD just two days after the Oscars. The Descendants was another movie that was already doing well before the Oscars possibly because of George Clooney’s star power. Nevertheless this film had the biggest post-nominations gross of all nine Best Picture nominees with $31 million including an additional $3.9 million after the Oscars were awarded.
Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close and The Artist were the two Best Picture nominees whose grosses more than doubled after the nominations. Both films did so-so before the Oscar nominations with Extremely Loud grossing just under $12 million and The Artist grossing just over $12 million. The nominations would change lots as Extremely Loud has grossed an additional $20 million since the nominations. The Artist would also gross an additional $19.4 million between the nominations and awards but its Oscar wins including the Best Picture win would help give it an additional $11.4 million to date currently standing at $43.3 million. The Artist is the only Best Picture nominee this year to gross even as much as $5 million after the awards.
The biggest surprise about this year’s set of Best Picture nominees isn’t necessarily because there are nine instead of ten but that only one, The Help, has grossed more than $100 million either before or after the Oscars. Even last year, there were five that would at least have a total gross of more than $100 million. The average gross of this year’s Best Picture nominees of $69.6 million is actually the lowest average since the more-than-five nominees system was reintroduced at the 2009 Oscars and the lowest since the 2006 Oscars fivesome. This year’s hit movies were left out of the cold. There was no Disney/Pixar blockbuster that found itself in that group. There was no movie with a lot of Oscar buzz that caught on in a big way. Even the family-friendly Hugo didn’t hit the $100 million mark. A shame since the movie cost $170 million to make. Even seeing how The Artist hasn’t even hit the $50 million mark tells quite a bit about the box office crowds. Its gross isn’t as low as say the The Hurt Locker was two years ago but it still says a message not just about box office crowds but even the Academy and their voting, how nowadays crowd fanfare doesn’t mean an awful lot in choosing Best Picture.
So there you have it. The rundown of this year’s business involving the Oscar nominees and winners. Each year tells a different story on both the Academy’s voting and the box office outlook. Next year’s should also tell a lot too. Stay tuned.