Box Office: 'Green Book' Scores Biggest Post-Oscar Bump in 8 Years

Universal Studios
'Green Book'

The dramedy earned $4.7 million over the weekend.

Director Peter Farrelly's Green Book scored the biggest post-Oscar bump of any best picture winner in eight years at the U.S. box office.

The Amblin and Participant Media dramedy grossed $4.7 million from 2,641 cinemas over the March 1-3 frame — its 16th weekend in release — days after its much-debated victory at the 91st Academy Awards.

No movie taking home the statuette for best picture has earned that much post-Oscars since The King's Speech posted a weekend gross of $6.2 million from 2,386 cinemas following the Academy Awards in 2011. That compares to $2.3 million for The Shape of Water, last year's winner, and roughly the same amount for Moonlight two years ago.

Prior to that, Spotlight, Birdman, 12 Years a Slave and Argo likewise earned around $2 million on the first post-Oscar weekend. The winner in 2012, The Artist, fared better with $3.6 million (both The Artist and The King's Speech were from Harvey Weinstein, an expert at turning awards attention into box office glory).

Green Book's domestic total through Sunday is $75.9 million, the top domestic showing for a best picture winner since Argo ($136 million) seven years ago. Analysts now believe Green Book will get to $90 million in the U.S.

The film is also enjoying a major post-Oscar boost overseas, where it took in another $31.9 million — including an impressive China bow of $17.1 million — for a foreign cume of $112.1 million and $188 million globally. The distinctly American story revolves around the relationship between real-life classical musician Don Shirley, who was black, and his Italian-American driver as they drive though the segregated South of the 1960s.

Green Book, starring Viggo Mortenson and Mahershala Ali, who won the Oscar for best supporting actor, has the backing of a major Hollywood studio. Universal is marketing and releasing the movie in North America on behalf of Steven Spielberg's Amblin and Participant.

Awards attention has been key to Green Book's box office success. The film, which first opened in mid-November, largely struggled until winning the Golden Globe for best comedy in early January. Heading into the weekend of the Globes, Green Book's cume was $35 million.

"The film had underperformed throughout the winter, but winning awards along the way helped it stay on the road to redemption, and ultimately became a box office triumph," says Jeff Bock of Exhibitor Relations.

"Is it more Oscar worthy than BlacKkKlansman or The Favourite? Well, ultimately that is decided by the voting members of the Academy. And they decided it was," adds Bock. "But the fact [Green Book] had only tallied upwards of $70 million by the time it won best picture was always going to give it a lot more mileage because the film is, at the end of the day, a multiplex crowd-pleaser."

The post-Oscar glow also shone on Warner Bros.' A Star Is Born, which was rereleased Friday with 12 minutes of additional footage following Lady Gaga's win for best original song for "Shallow." The film earned $1.9 million for the weekend for a domestic total of $212.9 million. Ditto for Sony's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which claimed the Oscar for best animated feature. The pic earned $2.1 million as it swung to $187.4 million domestically.