Between lack of interest, streaming availability and older moviegoers staying home, the Best Picture nominees won’t sell many more tickets
Prior to the pandemic, movie theaters could rely on Oscar-nominated films to drive some amount of box office revenue. That’s not going to happen this year, and with interest in awards shows dropping, that may not be the case going forward.
According to data from Comscore, the seven Best Picture nominees that have reported box office numbers have combined for a North American gross of just $191 million, with 56% of that total coming from the $107 million domestic run of Warner Bros./Legendary’s “Dune.” That’s the lowest total gross for Best Picture nominees on announcement day in the last decade. (In 2014, the nine nominees had grossed just $205 million — though Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” went wide just afterward and went on to gross $346 million.)
The three films that did not report box office totals are Apple’s “CODA,” which was released day-and-date in theaters and on Apple TV+ in August, and Netflix’s “Don’t Look Up” and “The Power of the Dog,” both of which had two-week theatrical exclusive runs before hitting streaming.
By comparison, the Best Picture nominees from 2013 to 2020 had racked up hundreds of millions in domestic grosses prior to nomination day, and with the exception of 2019, added at least $100 million after nominations were announced (and in 2014, when American Sniper” became a box office smash, $464 million more).