Which Contenders Will Get a Boost

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

A best picture nomination can be a powerful marketing tool, and contenders are already in hot pursuit of the fabled Oscar bump. Awards front-runner The Artist and Warner Bros.' Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close intentionally waited until now to expand and could benefit the most. But don't rule out The Descendants and Hugo, which are both adding back theaters Jan. 27. Some insiders already are bemoaning the fact that this year's crop of best picture nominees lag behind last year's in terms of overall domestic revenue at the same point in time, and by a substantial margin -- $517.1 million versus $1.2 billion. But the class of 2011 included the mega-grosser Toy Story 3. Even without the blockbuster toon, the average among the nominees was $87.2 million, compared to $57.5 million this year. For years, there has been a disturbing lack of correlation between high grosses and best picture nominations (a big part of the reason the best picture category was expanded), and it remains to be seen whether the old complaints resurface this year.

2011 BEST PICTURE NOMINEES -- Total Box Office: $571.1 million

  • The Help (Aug. 10): $169.6 million
  • Moneyball (Sept. 23): $75.5 million
  • War Horse (Dec. 25): $72.3 million
  • Midnight in Paris (May 20): $56.4 million
  • Hugo (Nov. 23): $55.9 million
  • The Descendants (Nov. 16): $51.3 million
  • The Tree of Life (May 27 ): $13.3 million
  • The Artist (Nov. 25): $12.1 million
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Dec. 25): $10.7 million

2010 BEST PICTURE NOMINEES -- Total Box Office: $1.2 billion

  • Toy Story 3 (June 18): $415 milion
  • Inception (July 16): $292.6 million
  • True Grit (Dec. 22): $138 million
  • The Social Network (Oct. 1): $95.4 million
  • Black Swan (Dec. 3): $83.3 million
  • The Fighter (Dec. 10): $72.7 million
  • The King's Speech (Nov. 26): $57.3 million
  • The Kids Are All Right (July 9): $20.8 million
  • Winter's Bone (June 11): $13.8 million
  • 127 Hours (Nov. 5): $11.3 million
 
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