If Birdman or even Boyhood wins best picture at the Oscars tonight, don’t look for a big uptick in their domestic box office. During the past 10 years, an Oscar Best Picture win has translated into a 20% increase in a film’s total cume following the ceremony, but achieving that hike depends on whether the distributor wants it.
After the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences moved the Oscars to the end of February in 2004, it shortened the theatrical play window for an Oscar nominee to make B.O. gains. Thus, films that opened in the fall sought to profit off their nom or win on DVD and VOD. Since 2005, some of the biggest post Best Picture hikes include Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby (+52% with final cume of $100.4M), Fox Searchlight/WB’s Slumdog Millionaire (+44%, $141.3M) in 2009 and the Weinstein Company’s The Artist (+41%, $44.67M) in 2012.
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