Best Picture Oscar Nominees Are Split Between the Box Office Haves and Have-Nots (2023)

Three films among last year’s top 15 highest grossing films were nominated while three others combined for less than $30 million domestic

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“The Way of Water” and “Maverick,” of course, are the highest grossing films of the year, combining for over $1.3 billion domestic and nearly $3.5 billion worldwide. “Elvis” is farther down the list with $151 million domestic and $287 million global, but it was able to reignite interest in its legendary subject and drive consistent turnout from moviegoers over the age of 50.

But on the other end of the spectrum are Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans,” Martin McDonagh’s “The Banshees of Inisherin,” and Todd Field’s “Tár” — three films that were critically acclaimed festival darlings and have, combined, grossed less than $30 million in North America. Joining them from the arthouse scene are Sarah Polley’s “Women Talking,” which is currently in theaters in limited release with $1.1 million grossed; Ruben Ostlund’s Palme D’Or winner “Triangle of Sadness,” which grossed $4.2 million domestic last fall, and Edward Berger’s “All Quiet on the Western Front,” which is a Netflix streaming exclusive.

“Fabelmans” and “Inisherin,” in particular, show how much prestige films have fallen off in terms of theatrical performance when compared to past Spielberg and McDonagh films that got Oscar recognition.

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In 2018, Spielberg’s historical thriller “The Post” grossed $81 million domestic and $193 million worldwide, starting with a limited release during the holiday season before expanding to 2,850 theaters in mid-January.

Best Picture Oscar Nominees Are Split Between the Box Office Haves and Have-Nots (2)

“The Fabelmans,” by contrast, has grossed just $14.9 million in North America and needs a strong overseas run in the coming weeks to even make back its $40 million production budget.

Spielberg’s autobiographical drama is the sort of reliable, accessible adult fare that could make a decent amount of money even in the late 2010s, but its screen count never exceeded 1,200 theaters. Its five-day Thanksgiving weekend total of $3.1 million from 638 theaters was beaten by the $4.2 million earned by the Tom Hanks dramedy “A Man Called Otto” when it had almost the same screen count in early January.

Boxoffice editor Daniel Loria believes the slower release rollout that Universal attempted didn’t help “The Fabelmans,” but also believes that the film’s premise didn’t align with what audiences want even in an accessible adult drama.

“Even before the pandemic, I think Spielberg making a movie about his childhood would have been a harder sell than ‘The Post’ or ‘Bridge of Spies,'” he said. “Those films had a thriller element that make them more appealing to audiences than a quiet film about Spielberg’s family and how he got into filmmaking.”

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In November 2017, McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” had a $5.8 million Thanksgiving weekend total and legged out to $54.5 million in North America. The film never cracked the top 5 on the box office charts or had a screen count of more than 1,620 theaters, but it didn’t need to. It was able to maintain low but steady turnout all the way through Oscar Sunday, the sort that awards contenders aim to have when they hit theaters in early November.

But in a post-COVID world the shortening of the theatrical window, the declining interest in seeing prestige films in theaters, and the plummeting cultural relevance of awards shows have quickly sapped away all the factors that allowed a film like “Three Billboards” to find box office success. “The Banshees of Inisherin” has shown that, with a maximum screen count of just under 900 theaters and a peak weekend total of just $2 million.

Best Picture Oscar Nominees Are Split Between the Box Office Haves and Have-Nots (4)

Released in late October, “Inisherin” was essentially finished in U.S. theaters by Thanksgiving, grossing $9.3 million domestic. Like “The Fabelmans,” Searchlight will try to find some extra theatrical revenue from overseas moviegoers with a post-Oscar nomination international rollout in markets like Italy, Spain, Brazil and Scandinavia. But even in the U.K. and Ireland, where the film had its best performance, its $11.3 million total failed to reach the $20.9 million of “Three Billboards.”

The market for the sort of critically acclaimed dramas that regularly make the Best Picture list has continued to get squeezed from all sides, with studios struggling to figure out how to market such high-brow affair — or even middlebrow in the case of “Fabelmans” — to an audience that’s more comfortable with seeing such films on streaming or digital on-demand. And with the Oscars losing their cultural clout, even that audience may be shrinking as well.

“Once you cut off that theatrical window, you take away the time that films like ‘Inisherin’ need to build the word-of-mouth to make them theatrically successful. That’s how someone who saw a film in platform release in L.A. tells their Middle America relatives over the holidays that they should see when it comes to theaters where they live,” Loria said.

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Ironically, the one Best Picture contender that defies categorization between major studio, wide release hit, and struggling prestige title is the one that got the most nominations: Daniels’ “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” which this past spring became the first A24 release to gross over $100 million worldwide.

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s genre-bending film didn’t top the end-of-year charts but punched well above its indie weight class thanks purely to organic word-of-mouth. Released wide in April 2022, well outside the usual awards season release period, it didn’t need Oscar buzz to draw interest. Rather, like “Top Gun: Maverick,” it got Oscar buzz because of its widespread popularity, something that regularly happened before mainstream and Academy voter tastes dramatically diverged.

While there was already some mass appeal, wide release offerings on the 2023 slate that might find their way onto next year’s nominee list — Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune: Part Two” and Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” come to mind — there’s no guarantee that a film like “Top Gun: Maverick” or “Everything Everywhere” will prove to be both a box office success and a major awards player.

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What’s more certain, given recent history and the tastes of the Academy, is that a film from Toronto or Venice will get that nomination. Maybe it will be Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” or Bradley Cooper’s Leonard Bernstein biopic “Maestro.” Maybe it will be another buzzy festival title that isn’t currently on anyone’s radar.

But when it comes time for that type of film to hit theaters, all signs point to it yielding the box office scraps that “The Fabelmans” earned rather than the modestly successful Best Picture winners of recent pre-pandemic memory.

“The new formula that studios and distributors have put together coming out of the pandemic isn’t working for these kinds of festival movies,” Loria said. “It’s the system that has come together in response to streaming demand and to getting audiences in theaters for more populist films, but the more artistic and thought-provoking stuff is getting left behind.”

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FAQs

Who will win Best Picture 2023? ›

Best Picture
  • The Banshees of Inisherin.
  • TÁR.
  • Elvis.
  • Top Gun: Maverick.
  • Avatar: The Way of Water.
  • All Quiet on the Western Front.
  • Women Talking.
  • Babylon.
14 hours ago

Who is the only man to win 3 Best Actor Oscars? ›

Six have won exactly three acting Academy Awards: Daniel Day-Lewis (three Best Actor awards), Frances McDormand (three Best Actress awards), Meryl Streep (two Best Actress awards and one Best Supporting Actress award), Jack Nicholson (two Best Actor awards and one Best Supporting Actor award), Ingrid Bergman (two Best ...

Is the last line from which movie that won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1939? ›

Gone with the Wind (Best Picture winner)

Which movie has the most Oscar nominations 2023? ›

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” — the newfangled time-twisting film which topped all films with 11 nominations on Tuesday — picked up three in the supporting actor categories. Ke Huy Quan landed a best supporting actor nod, and Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu were each in the race for best supporting actress.

What is the lowest rated Best Picture winner? ›

The 40 Lowest-Rated Best Picture Nominees Of All Time
  • #8. Hello, Dolly! ( 1969) ...
  • #7. The Hollywood Revue (1929) 43% ...
  • #6. Anne of the Thousand Days (1969) 38% ...
  • #5. The Broadway Melody (1929) 42% #5. ...
  • #4. The Robe (1953) 38% #4. ...
  • #3. Blossoms in the Dust (1941) 33% #3. ...
  • #2. Doctor Dolittle (1967) 29% #2. ...
  • #1. Anthony Adverse (1936) 20% #1.

What is the longest movie to win Best Picture? ›

1. 'Gone with the Wind' (1940) – 233 minutes.

Who is the most awarded actor of all time? ›

As of 2022, Katharine Hepburn maintained her lead as the actor with the most Oscar wins of all time.

Who is the only actor to win back to back Oscars? ›

Tom Hanks (USA) won Best Actor Academy Awards in two consecutive Oscar ceremonies (held in 1994 and 1995) for Philadelphia (USA, 1993) and Forrest Gump (USA, 1994), a record he shares with Spencer Tracy (USA), who won Best Actor in 1938 and 1939 for Captains Courageous (USA, 1937) and Boys Town (USA, 1938), ...

Who is the oldest person to win a Best Actor Oscar? ›

Anthony Hopkins is the oldest actor to win an Oscar. He was 83 when he won Best Actor for “The Father.” Before Hopkins, the oldest actor to win Best Actor was Henry Fonda for “On Golden Pond” at the 1982 Oscars. Fonda was 76 years old at the time of his victory.

What movie won the most Oscars but not Best Picture? ›

Cabaret, Bob Fosse's adaptation of the Broadway stage musical, set a record for the most Oscars won without winning Best Picture. Best Picture winner The Godfather received only three Academy Awards.

What is the first movie to win all five major Oscars? ›

The first film to win 'The Big Five' was Frank Capra's 1934 pre-Code romantic comedy It Happened One Night.

Has any Disney movie won Best Picture? ›

Walt Disney Studios has conquered the box office, but when will it have its big Oscar moment? The 98-year-old studio has never won the Oscar for best picture with a film bearing the iconic castle's opening logo.

What are the nominees for the Oscars 2023? ›

95th Academy Awards

Who is up for best actor 2023? ›

2023 Oscars Predictions: Best Actor

CATEGORY COMMENTARY: The best actor race is comprised of all first-time nominees — Austin Butler (“Elvis”), Colin Farrell (“The Banshees of Inisherin”), Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”), Paul Mescal (“Aftersun”) and Bill Nighy (“Living”).

What is the only movie to win every Oscar it was nominated for? ›

"Titanic" is also one of three movies to win a record 11 awards, joined by "Ben-Hur" (1959) and "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" (2003). Yet the latter takes the cake for being the most-nominated movie to win in every single nominated category.

What is the only sequel to win Best Picture? ›

Few sequels have been nominated for Best Picture and just two have won: The Godfather Part II (the film before that, The Godfather, also won the award; the third film in the installment The Godfather Part III, was nominated as well but did not win the award) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (the films ...

What is the only G rated movie to win an Oscar for Best Picture? ›

rated movie to win an academy award? "Oliver!" is the only movie to win a Best Picture award that was rated G before the award was given.

What won Best Picture instead of Star Wars? ›

Citation Information
  • Article Title. "Annie Hall" beats out "Star Wars" for Best Picture.
  • Author. History.com Editors.
  • Website Name. HISTORY.
  • URL. https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/annie-hall-beats-out-star-wars-for-best-picture.
  • Access Date. December 30, 2022.
  • Publisher. ...
  • Last Updated. ...
  • Original Published Date.

Are the Oscars real gold? ›

The statuettes are solid bronze and plated in 24-karat gold. Due to a metal shortage during World War II, Oscars were made of painted plaster for three years. Following the war, the Academy invited recipients to redeem the plaster figures for gold-plated metal ones.

What is the number 1 longest movie in the world? ›

Guinness World Records says the longest film ever made is "The Cure for Insomnia" released in 1987. The 85-hour experimental film was directed by John Henry Timmis IV.

Has a Netflix film ever won Best Picture? ›

Netflix broke into the Best Picture race for the first time with 2018's Roma and has since added six more titles to that coveted list of nominees, but has so far failed to secure a win, though Apple TV+ broke the barrier this year, becoming the first streaming service to take home Best Picture for CODA despite Netflix ...

Has anyone ever won Best Actor 2 years in a row? ›

Best Actor

Two actors have won two consecutive awards: Spencer Tracy – Captains Courageous (1937) and Boys Town (1938) Tom Hanks – Philadelphia (1993) and Forrest Gump (1994)

Who is the most awarded actress of all time? ›

Katharine Hepburn holds the records for most wins with 12 nominations and 4 wins for Morning Glory (1933), Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968), and On Golden Pond (1981).

Who is the greatest Hollywood actor of all time? ›

The 20 Best Actors of All Time
  • Russell Crowe. ...
  • Joaquin Phoenix. ...
  • Clint Eastwood. ...
  • Morgan Freeman. ...
  • Jack Nicholson. ...
  • Al Pacino. ...
  • Leonardo DiCaprio. ...
  • Marlon Brando.
Aug 16, 2022

Has any actor refused an Oscar? ›

Native American actress and activist Sacheen Littlefeather, who declined the best-actor award on behalf of Marlon Brando during an Oscars protest in 1973, has died aged 75, the motion picture Academy said on Monday.

Who was the first actor to refuse Oscar? ›

(NEXSTAR) – The Academy Award is generally regarded as one of the highest honors that an actor can receive — the keyword being “generally.” In the history of the Oscars, however, there have only been three people who refused their awards: actors George C. Scott and Marlon Brando, and screenwriter Dudley Nichols.

Why did Marlon Brando refuse his Oscar? ›

The actress and activist Sacheen Littlefeather attended the ceremony in Brando's place, stating that the actor “very regretfully” could not accept the award, as he was protesting Hollywood's portrayal of Native Americans in film.

Who is the youngest person at the Oscars? ›

Youngest winners
RankAgeName
132 years, 38 daysDamien Chazelle
232 years, 260 daysNorman Taurog
333 years, 228 daysLewis Milestone
434 years, 238 daysSam Mendes
6 more rows

Who is the youngest person in the world to get an Oscar? ›

The youngest ever Oscar winner is actress Tatum O'Neal who was only 10 years old when she won Best Supporting Actress for the film 'Paper Moon'.

Who is the youngest black person to win an Oscar? ›

Cuba Gooding Jr. Youngest African-American male actor to win an Academy Award (age 29). First Black actor born in Africa (specifically in Benin) to receive an Academy Award nomination. Oldest African-American actor to win an Academy Award (age 67).

Who is nominated for Best Actor Oscar 2023? ›

2023 Oscars Predictions: Best Actor

CATEGORY COMMENTARY: There's a bubbling consensus among pundits that three actors seem secure for spots — Austin Butler (“Elvis”), Colin Farrell (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) and Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”).

Who is nominated for Oscars 2023? ›

95th Academy Awards

Whats favored to win Best Picture? ›

2022 Oscar Odds: The Power Of The Dog Leads Best Picture Faves. The Oscar nominees are in for the 94th Academy Awards that will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on March 27 to recognize the Sportsbook of the film industry in 2021.

What should win Best Picture 2022? ›

Best picture
  1. 1. “ The Power of the Dog”
  2. 2. “ Belfast”
  3. 3. “ CODA”
  4. 4. “ West Side Story”
  5. 5. “ Dune”
  6. 6. “ King Richard”
  7. 7. “ Drive My Car”
  8. 8. “ Licorice Pizza”
Mar 24, 2022

Who is the best actor in the world? ›

Empire's 50 Greatest Actors Of All Time List, Revealed
  • Denzel Washington. ...
  • Tom Hanks. ...
  • Marilyn Monroe. ...
  • Robert De Niro. ...
  • Bette Davis. ...
  • Natalie Portman. ...
  • Heath Ledger. ...
  • Katharine Hepburn.
Dec 20, 2022

Who is the oldest actor to be nominated for an Oscar? ›

Anthony Hopkins (83 years, 74 days)

Hopkins is the oldest-ever nominee for Best Actor, and most people assumed that was where it would end. He already had an Oscar and was up for the movie The Father. Meanwhile, Chadwick Boseman had been nominated posthumously for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.

Who is up for best actress 2023? ›

Best Actress Contenders
  • Cate Blanchett, TÁR. ...
  • Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once. ...
  • Ana de Armas, Blonde. ...
  • Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans. ...
  • Andrea Riseborough, To Leslie.
8 hours ago

Who is the youngest person to be nominated for an Oscar? ›

As of March 2022, the all-time youngest Academy Award nominee in an acting category was Justin Henry, who was just eight years old when he was nominated for his role as Billy in "Kramer vs Kramer" (1979).

Is Everything Everywhere All at Once nominated for an Oscar? ›

Everything Everywhere All at Once

What movie received 11 nominations at the 55th Oscars? ›

These films had multiple nominations:
  • 11 nominations: Gandhi.
  • 10 nominations: Tootsie.
  • 9 nominations: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
  • 7 nominations: Victor/Victoria.
  • 6 nominations: Das Boot and An Officer and a Gentleman.
  • 5 nominations: Sophie's Choice and The Verdict.
  • 4 nominations: Missing.
  • 3 nominations: Poltergeist.

What 3 westerns won Best Picture? ›

Only four Westerns have won the highest honor:
  • Cimarron (1930/31)
  • Dances With Wolves (1990)
  • Unforgiven (1992)
  • No Country For Old Men (2007) - a dramatic western crime-thriller.

Did ordinary people win Best Picture? ›

Ordinary People won four Oscars for 1980, including the Academy Award for Best Picture. The picture, Robert Redford's debut in directing, won him the Academy Award for Best Director. Alvin Sargent won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Did Alfred Hitchcock ever win Best Picture? ›

Hitchcock's only film to take home the prize for Best Picture was Rebecca in 1940. Some believe that although today many of Hitchcock's films are considered classics, in his day, they were not given the prestige needed to win an Oscar.

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