The history-making statistic wasn’t a surprise, considering that theaters across the North America were closed for more than a year, including during the heart of awards season, forcing distributors to rely on hybrid theatrical and in-home releases.
Through Sunday, Nomadland had grossed $2.5 million to $3 million at the domestic box office. Searchlight Pictures, which backed the acclaimed movie, hasn’t reported official grosses for the film, which debuted day-and-date in select theaters on and the Disney-owned streaming platform Hulu.
The previous lowest-grossing best picture victor was The Hurt Locker, which had earned roughly $11 million at the time of its win. The Lionsgate film went on to earn $17 million domestically, thanks to the power of nabbing the top Oscar trophy.
In modern decades blockbuster box office earnings haven’t defined the best picture contest. Rather specialty films have dominated the race, such as last year’s Parasite, which ultimately earned $53 million domestically for Neon after after winning the Oscar for best picture.