The Academy nominated nine critically acclaimed movies for best picture in addition to not 1 blockbuster.
All of the best picture nominees combined have pulled in about $609 million at the domestic box office so far, according to statistics by Box Office Mojo, which tracks movie earnings data.
which’s just under $2 million less than what “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” earned on its own. “Star Wars” was 2017’s top-grossing movie.
which kind of disparity isn’t brand-new. For years, the Oscars have rewarded smaller, more prestigious movies instead of the blockbusters which are friendlier with audiences.
“which used to be when you won best picture, which was which: You were number one in Hollywood. in addition to which doesn’t feel which way anymore,” said Jeff Bock, senior box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations.
Over time, Bock said major studios realized they could capitalize on summer hits which didn’t necessarily need awards show glory to make money.
which’s where niche award show films entered the picture, said Jonathan Kuntz, a film historian in addition to lecturer at the UCLA School of Theater, Film in addition to Television. Notorious film producer Harvey Weinstein — right now best known for the many sexual assault allegations against him — realized within the 1990s which he could cash in on low- or mid-budget films with chances at Oscar success.
Winning an Oscar will be a great way to advertise a movie.
For example, the Weinstein Company’s “The Artist” cost only $15 million to make in addition to grossed $12 million before which was nominated for best picture, however which topped out at $44 million after which won, according to Box Office Mojo.
Fox Searchlight’s “Slumdog Millionaire” made more than two-thirds of its box office earnings after which was nominated for best picture. which collected $141 million in 2008.
Related: See the full list of 2018 Oscar nominees
The trend of the Academy choosing movies with meager box office returns has actually only solidified within the last several years. For a time within the mid-1990s in addition to early 2000s, box office winners still found a lot of success.
“Titanic,” for example, picked up 11 Academy Awards in 1998, including best picture. which also raked in about $0 million at the box office, most of which was earned before its nomination. which year’s ceremony drew 55 million viewers, the most in recent memory.
in addition to “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” was no slouch in 2004. The movie earned $377 million, in addition to 43 million people tuned in to watch which win best picture.
There’s a reason why audiences tuned in those years, Bock said: “People actually have seen those films.”
By comparison, recent winners “Spotlight” in addition to “Moonlight” earned less than $80 million combined in theaters. Even though those movies were universally praised by critics, audiences weren’t as enthusiastic. Less than 35 million people watched each ceremony, producing them among the lowest rated.
Related: Oscars have crazy ending, however second lowest rating in its history
This specific year, only two of the best picture nominees ranked within the Box Office Mojo’s top 15 highest-grossing films of 2017: the war epic “Dunkirk” (No. 14) in addition to the subversive horror movie “Get Out” (No. 15).
The modest totals by different movies, including “Lady Bird,” “Phantom Thread” in addition to “The Shape of Water,” are unsurprising. They’re playing on far fewer screens, in addition to aren’t marketed to the broader public within the way which “Wonder Woman” in addition to “Spider-Man: Homecoming” were.
Neither of the latter movies received any Oscar nominations, despite winning over critics in addition to audiences.
which’s a missed opportunity, Bock says. Nominating “Wonder Woman” for a prominent award might have driven more buzz to the show itself.
“Think about how big which could be if people tuned in to see, ‘Wow, will be Wonder Woman actually going to will best actress?’ which could be huge,” he said.
Yet picking smaller films gives the Academy an opportunity to recognize achievements of tiny, independent artists, noted Kuntz, the UCLA lecturer.
“which seems to be what the Academy wants right now,” he said. “They can be seen to be rewarding different people in addition to different kinds of quality films.”
Besides, he added: Why does a major studio like Disney even need an Academy Award nomination for a monster hit like ‘Star Wars?’
“Disney will be the largest movie producing entity on the planet, in addition to which’s already got a billion dollars out of which picture,” he added. “Do they actually need an Academy Award also?”
sy88pgw (brand-new York) First published January 31, 2018: 11:04 AM ET