Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Best Picture Nominees by Domestic Gross

Best Picture nominees, according the current domestic numbers:

Avatar: $595.7m
Up: $293m
The Blind Side: $237.9m
Inglourious Basterds: $120.5m
District 9: $115.6m
Up in the Air: $73.2m
Precious: $45.4m
The Hurt Locker: $12.6m
A Serious Man: $9.2m
An Education: $8.7m

About half of the films are still in some form of theatrical release, and the other half have already been released on Blu-Ray and DVD. We will see if any of those films will opt for an additional theatrical run...I'm sure a few of them will.

Oddly enough, the film with the most to gain from a re-release, The Hurt Locker, seems to be opting out of that strategy, at least for now. But with the film taking PGA and Bigelow walking away with the DGA win, it's time to start campaigning in earnest, because while Avatar still must be considered the favorite and will continue to make its cash, in the awards race, Hurt Locker is the film of the moment, and it is the one film that can take down the giant blue people. A re-release could boost the film's gross to $50 million, and with the right marketing push could even haul in $100 million...and that, in my opinion, would be enough to win Best Picture and Best Director. Right now it seems like the best move that won't happen, but if it does, we are in for an intriguing Oscar night.

In my view, the film that will get the biggest boost from the nomination is The Blind Side, which was already a gargantuan hit beyond all expectations, but with the BP nod could push past $300 million, which is insane. Avatar will keep pushing and could get as high as $800 million, but that's sort of old news. The big story will be the success of The Blind Side, which was never intended to skyrocket to this level of success. An even bigger story would be a Hurt Locker re-release, for which I want to spearhead the campaign RIGHT NOW!

For the rest, Up in the Air could well make its way to $100 million thanks to the Oscar love...and I wish that could affect its chances, but it probably won't. Up is likely content with its huge numbers, since it is a shoo-in for the Animated Feature prize and has no chance whatsoever in the BP race, but who cares? A wonderful film got its due on every level. They might get wild and try to turn the Basterds loose in theaters again, but that won't do much to affect its gross or its chances. It's still a third- or fourth-place BP runner, with a shoo-in win for Waltz in Supporting and a 49% chance that Quentin will take Original Screenplay (51% for Mark Boal's Hurt Locker script at this point). Precious might see an uptick in its gross as a result of its six nominations, and the two indies -- Serious Man and An Education -- might see an expanded theater count and widened audience, if the studios see fit. Both deserve to be seen, and An Education in particular will play well with wider audiences.

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