Oscars 2013: The Buzz And The Biz
It seems like every year, I take a longer time to post my review on the Academy Awards and their affect on the winning films as well as nominated films. My 2011 review was five weeks after, my 2012 review was six weeks after and now my 2013 review comes almost eight weeks after. Hey, I’ve been busy with other preoccupations. But I have time now.
Thank you again, Box Office Mojo for my references. Here are my charts in review:
Last year there were six films nominated for Best Picture that grossed over $100 million including the winner Argo. This year there were less Best Picture nominees that made $100 million or more. Four to be exact and Best Picture winner Twelve Years A Slave is not one of them. Nevertheless it’s still better than just the one for 2011. Another plus is that Gravity became the highest-grossing Best Picture nominee in three years as well as the first one in three years to break past the $250 million mark.
This years list of Best Picture nominees gives an interesting look at the Best Picture contenders. Gravity, American Hustle and Captain Phillips already made $100 million before the nominations were announced. The oldest release of the nine was Gravity which was released in October. This marked the first time in five years there were no Best Picture nominees released in the summer or spring. If there were any that finished their theater runs before the nominations, they were back in time after the nominations were announced. Captain Phillips was the only nominee that finished its theater run before the Oscars were awarded.
Looking at the chart with its pre-nom, pre-awards and post-awards stats, Captain Phillips had the least benefit from its Oscar nominations of all the nine nominees with just over $2 million. It’s no wonder it called its run quits before the awards. American Hustle had the biggest added gross from the nominations and the wins, even though it didn’t win any of their ten nominated categories. The Wolf Of Wall Street was next with an added boost of $35 million after the Oscar noms and wins. The biggest Oscar boosts as far as percentages go went to Nebraska and Her as both movies more than doubled their grosses after the nominations were announced. Big percentages from the Oscar nominations included the Dallas Buyers Club which grossed an extra $10.4 million and Philomena which grossed an extra $15 million. Gravity‘s grosses may have already been huge enough but its Oscar nominations gave it an added $17.6 million.
The Best Picture winner Twelve Years A Slave also had some noteworthy box office results. It already grossed $39 million before the nominations, $11.3 million between the nominations and the awards, and $6.3 million after winning Best Picture: about the same as Argo’s post-awards gross last year. Twelve Years A Slave is the only one of the nine nominees to gross more than $5 million after the awards. The last time the biggest post-awards gross of all the nominees was that low or lower was back in 2006.
Since we’re on the topic of the gross of Twelve Years A Slave, here’s an additional thing to focus on. It seems right to focus on how the decade of Best Picture winners are doing considering the decade has awarded four Best Picture winners already. Back after The Hurt Locker won the 2009 Best Picture Oscar, it was noted that the Noughts–the decade of the 2000’s– was the first decade whose ten-set of Best Picture winners failed to outgross the previous decade’s ten-set. That decade’s winners grossed a total of $1.426 billion and the $17 million from The Hurt Locker sure did quite a bit to miss outgrossing the $1.8 billion of the 90’s. The teens don’t look too optimistic even though it’s only four years old. Here are the four Best Picture winners and their grosses:
2010: The King’s Speech – $135.5 million
2011: The Artist – $44.7 million
2012: Argo – $136 million
2013: Twelve Years A Slave – $56.6 million
That makes a total gross of $372.8 million: $93.2 million per film. Four years ago, I made a point on an Oscar message board about how the term ‘Oscar contender’ is becoming more of an enigma. That came especially since I overheard a conversation at a restaurant where a young woman rented two DVDs of Oscar nominees and hated what she saw. That has been a big head-scratcher of mine even before that. Ten years to be exact. It lead me wonder if the term Oscar-contender’ would mean a film that actually deters crowds. Hey, I’ve been paying attention to the Best Picture nominees and the grosses that came with it. There were some years with bad results like 2005 and 2011. There’ve also been some with great results like 2012 and 2003. However I often get questioning during the years of low grosses for the combined nominees and even for the winners. This year was quite good for the nominees especially with Gravity grossing high. However seeing how Gravity lost out to Twelve Years A Slave makes me wonder how this will impact the term ‘Best Picture winner.’ Especially since that brings back memories of four years ago when The Hurt Locker won over record-breaking Avatar. However I won’t panic. There are still six more years left this decade and who knows? Maybe at least one blockbuster will win Best Picture.
So this year’s mix of Best Picture contenders included some films that already had enough juice to win big crowds before the awards. There were also some films that received big boosts from their nominations. Each year’s nominees and winners tell their own story about the Oscars and their box office results. I’m sure the years to come will tell their own stories.