Which of the eight Best Picture nominees brought the most profit to its studio? TheWrap checked. Here's which film did the best.
"Mad Max: Fury Road" Worldwide gross: $377M Budget: $150M (Highest among all nominees) Return on Investment: 146%
Best Director nominee George Miller took road rage to new heights in the visually spectacular sequel, which arrived 35 years after the original. Though it captured 10 Academy Award nominations, standout performers Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron were not among the nominees. It’s been out and a hit on DVD and digital since September.
20th Century Fox
"The Revenant" Worldwide gross: $332M Budget: $135M Return on Investment: 146%
With Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy up for Best and Supporting Actor and Alejandro Inarritu for Best Director, and the frontier vengeance saga considered a frontrunner for Best Picture, there is potential for this one to come out of Sunday with a mountain of momentum. It’s April 12 home entertainment release date leaves plenty of time for Fox to cash in at multiplexes, too. It’s still playing well and took in nearly $4 million over the weekend, its fifth in release.
Open Road Films
"Spotlight" Worldwide gross: $54M Budget: $20M Return on Investment: 170%
With its DVD and digital release on Tuesday, Open Road Films is banking on home entertainment to capitalize should there be a Best Picture victory for Tom McCarthy’s inside look at the Boston Globe’s coverage of the Catholic Church sex scandal. Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams top the film’s ensemble.
"Bridge of Spies" Worldwide gross: $164M Budget: $55M Return on Investment: 198%
The Steven Spielberg-directed drama about the 1960 U-2 spy plane face-off with the Soviet Union starring Tom Hanks has been a box office hit for U.S. distributor Disney and Fox, which handled foreign. Mark Rylance (Supporting Actor) and the Coen brothers (Original Screenplay) are nominated and there might be room for a theatrical re-run even though it’s been available on DVD and digital since Feb. 2.
"Brooklyn" Worldwide gross: $35M Budget: $11M Return on Investment: 218%
The tale of a young Irish immigrant (Best Actress nominee Saoirse Ronan) and her life in 1950s New York will be available digitally and on discs on March 15. The odds are against it delivering a third consecutive Best Picture Oscar for Fox Searchlight (after “Birdman” last year and “12 Years a Slave” the year before) but if it does, look for a theatrical victory lap.
"Room" Worldwide gross: $19.6M Budget: $6M Return on Investment: 227%
Director Lenny Abrahamson and lead Brie Larson are nominated for Oscars, and 9-year-old Jacob Tremblay probably should have been for this edgy tale of a woman and her young son held captive for years. It arrives on DVD and Blu-ray on March 1, leaving a very short window for A24 to cash in theatrically should it pull off what would rank as one of the biggest upsets in Oscar history.
"The Big Short" Worldwide gross: $121M Budget: $28M Return on Investment: 332%
Paramount will release its dark comedy directed by Oscar nominee Adam Mckay about the U.S. financial meltdown digitally and on DVD on March 15., so its window to capitalize on a victory wouldn’t be open long. Home entertainment looks like the wiser choice for the film starring Brad Pitt, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Supporting Actor nominee Christian Bale, since it’s pretty much played out on the coasts and the Heartland has proven a tough sell.
Before we get to the film with the best return, a quick note: These figures are approximations based on worldwide box-office returns vs. production budgets, and don’t factor in theater owners’ cuts, marketing costs, home entertainment returns or TV or streaming licensing deals.
20th Century Fox
"The Martian" Worldwide gross: $620M Budget: $108M Return on Investment: 474%
Since it’s already made a ton at the box office for Fox, been available digitally since December and on Blu-ray DVD for a month, there’s not a lot of room for growth. Nonetheless, Fox is planning a re-release if its wins. And how do you put a dollar figure on the satisfaction a win would bring snubbed director Ridley Scott?