Saturday, January 29, 2011

Box Office and the Oscars®


There is often speculation that motion pictures that do well at the Box Office have more of a chance of winning an Oscar®. I have been an "Oscar watcher" for longer than I shall admit here and, frankly, there does not seem to be a correlation. I would love to research it and do a quantified statistical study. Anyone want to fund it? But, then, there are so many variables.

So, let's get down to crunching some numbers pertaining to this year's nominees for Best Motion Picture and their Box Office numbers just before they were nominated. We will do the winner's stats after the 83rd Academy Awards®, February 17.

Having compared the grosses of the ten nominees on January 24, let us rank them all, highest gross first with the number of their nominations in parentheses:

TOY STORY 3, $414.9M (5); INCEPTION, $292.5 (8); TRUE GRIT, $137.9M (10); THE SOCIAL NETWORK, $95.4M (8); BLACK SWAN, $83.2M (5 ); THE FIGHTER $72.6 (7); THE KING'S SPEECH, $57.3M (12 ); THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (4 ); 127 HOURS (6); and WINTER'S BONE $6.2m (4). (For more see: Box Office Mojo.)

Please, keep in mind that these movies were released at different times. Some had a longer time to amass Box Office numbers than others but, even so, one can easily see that the Box Office receipts had little impact on the number of nominations a movie received.

To get a better comparison, let's break them down starting with TOY STORY 3, which was leading the Box Office receipts by miles just before the Best Picture nominations were announced. It was the earliest Best Picture nominee to release, June 18, and it's gross was $414.9 Million on January 24. By comparison, the lowest-budgeted independent movie, WINTER'S BONE, released June 11th, with a gross of $6.2M. The highest and the lowest. Yet, WINTER'S BONE is nominated for four Oscars, Toy Story, five.

The second best gross was INCEPTION'S $292.5M, released July 16th. We can compare that to the low-budget nominated movie released only two days before on July 9th, THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, which came in at $20.8M.

Moving on to Oct 1st, and to one of the most anticipated movies of the year, THE SOCIAL NETWORK. Its gross was $95.4M.

THE KING'S SPEECH was released November 26th, almost two months later, and grossed $57.3M. Do the math, use an algorithm, whatever, and you see right away that THE KING'S SPEECH was only $48.1M behind THE SOCIAL NETWORK on January 24th and, therefore, THE KING'S SPEECH shows stronger legs than THE SOCIAL NETWORK. Also released in November, 127 HOURS opened on November 5th, and it grossed a weak $11.2M. Wobbly legs at best.

Three nominated movies were released in December. BLACK SWAN opened first, December 3rd, THE FIGHTER on December 10, followed by TRUE GRIT on December 22nd. The last Best Picture nominee to open.

How do their gross totals on January 24 compare? One would think that the last movie opening would have the least gross. Not so. The last film grossed the most behind INCEPTION, which was released five months earlier. The grosses for the movies opening from the 3rd to the 22nd of December were: BLACK SWAN $83.2M, THE FIGHTER $72.6M, and TRUE GRIT $137.9M. I predict TRUE GRIT has legs of a stallion.

Click the title of this post to access the Official 2011 Oscar Web site.
See previous posts, below, for more, and there will be many more posts between now and the February 27th 83rd Academy Awards Gala. Next Post: "Acting Nominations Compared to Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards."  The SAG awards will be held tomorrow night.

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Thank you for commenting! Mimi