In 1997, the film “Titanic” broke records when it achieved Best Picture status as well as earning the moniker Highest Grossing Film of all time, taking in an astounding $600 million. But artistic accolades do not always equal mega-success at the box office. This year’s Academy nominees are following the footsteps of many of their counterparts in past years, earning respectable but not mega-hit box office receipts.
“Titanic” was not only the Best Picture of the year, but also that year’s top earner, as was “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King,” which was the Best Picture of 2003 and generated $377 million at the box office.
But, over the last 18 years, those two films are the only ones to take Best Picture and Top Box Office honors. For example, in 2006, the top grossing film was “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” which earned $423 million, while the Best Picture that year, “The Departed” earned $132 million. In 2004, “Shrek 2” was the year’s highest grossing film at $441 million, but the Best Picture that same year, “Million Dollar Baby” only took in $100 million. The Best Picture of 2002, the musical “Chicago,” fared slightly better, taking in $170 million, but that year’s highest grossing movie was “Spider-Man,” which grossed $403 million.
Don’t expect much difference with this year’s nominees. The runaway hit of the bunch, the teen pregnancy comedy “Juno,” has the lead box office slot among all of this year’s best picture nominees. “Juno” has earned more than $110 million as of this week and remains in the Top Ten weekend list. The Will Smith sci-fi thriller “I Am Legend” grossed more than that in its first two weekends.
This year’s nominee “No Country for Old Men,” a crime saga about a drug deal gone bad, has earned $55 million to date and stands as the 16th place at the box office last weekend. The legal drama “Michael Clayton” has taken in $44 million and currently holds 18th place at the weekend box office. The melancholy romance “Atonement” has earned $42 million and takes the 14th slot. Fellow nominee “There Will Be Blood,” a historical epic set in California’s oil boom years, has earned $21 million so far and is in 10th place in the weekend gross race.
The 80th Academy Awards will take place on Feb. 24th, but it remains uncertain as to whether any stars will cross striking writers’ picket lines to attend the ceremony. Jon Stewart has been set to host the 80th Academy Awards® telecast, producer Gil Cates announced. This will mark Stewart’s second stint as Oscar host.
Following is a list of Academy Award winners and their box office draw:
2006 The Departed-$132,384,315
2004 Million Dollar Baby-$100,492,203
2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King-$377,027,325
2001 A Beautiful Mind-$170,742,341
1999 American Beauty-$130,096,601
1998 Shakespeare in Love-$100,317,794
1996 The English Patient-$78,676,425
1994 Forrest Gump-$329,694,499
1993 Schindler’s List-$96,065,768
1991 The Silence of the Lambs-$130,742,922
1990 Dances with Wolves-$184,208,848