Box Office: Oscar Best Picture Nominees Sprint Back Into Theaters
Oscar mania is heading for the multiplex.
A number of movies that scored a nomination for best picture Thursday will be rereleased in theaters this weekend in hopes of further filling their coffers. They include Warner Bros.' Gravity, Sony's Captain Phillips, Fox Searchlight's 12 Years a Slave and Focus Features' Dallas Buyers Club, all of which were first released in October or early November.
They'll compete for moviegoers with fellow best picture contenders American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street, both of which continue to stay high up on the box-office chart, as well as Her and Nebraska.
Movies landing in the coveted top category can see big upticks between the time of Oscar nominations and the Academy Awards ceremony, which this year falls on March 2. That's why films essentially done with their runs will go back into theaters.
Last year, Argo's domestic gross was $110 million when it was nominated for best picture. Released in October, it was largely done with its run when nominations were announced, but it had earned another $20 million by the time of the ceremony.
Movies like Gravity that have done mega business generally don't see as much of a boost from an Oscar nomination, since they have played so widely. Gravity has earned $256 million domestically and $675.2 million globally. Alfonso Cuaron's space epic took home 10 nominations on Thursday, tying with David O. Russell's American Hustle for the most noms.
Both Gravity and Captain Phillips will be playing in over 900 theaters on Friday, which marks the beginning of the long Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend.
Paul Greengrass' Captain Phillips has earned $105.1 million domestically and $109.6 million internationally for a total $214.7 million. The drama, while scoring six nominations, was shut out of the director's race, while Tom Hanks failed to earn a best actor nod.
In addition to its nine Oscar nominations, 12 Years a Slave, playing in more than 700 theaters on Friday, also should benefit from last weekend's Golden Globes win for best picture in the drama category (American Hustle won in the comedy/musical category). Steve McQueen's harrowing slave drama, released in October, has earned $39 million in North America, and north of $12 million overseas, where it has only rolled out in a handful of territories. Searchlight insiders are hopeful that awards attention will equal traffic at the box office.
Jean-Marc Vallee's Dallas Buyers Club is making a more modest play this weekend before expanding again next weekend. The film, available in roughly 450 theaters on Friday, may have the most to gain financially, having topped out at $16.8 million domestically (it hasn't yet rolled out overseas). The film earned six Oscar nominations, and Globe wins last weekend for stars Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto.
Alexander Payne's Nebraska, also among this year's crop of Oscar best picture contenders, has been holding back until the Globes and Oscar nominations. On Friday, it ups its theater count from roughly 250 to more than 500. Nebraska, likewise earning six Oscar nods, has earned a strong $8.6 million to date.