Oscars 2020: Best Picture Nominees Are No Box Office Slouches

Courtesy of Neon; Universal Pictures
'Parasite' (left), '1917'

Sam Mendes' '1917' is poised for the biggest bump after only opening nationwide over the weekend.

This year's class of Oscar best picture nominees are no box office slouches — even without Netflix grosses.

Seven of the nine films nominated Monday in the top category have earned a combined $747.2 million domestically, according to Comscore. There are no reported grosses for the other two contenders, Martin Scorsese's The Irishman and Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story, since both are from Netflix.

Regardless, $747 million represents the second-best showing for best picture Oscar contenders in recent memory behind last year's nominees, which had earned a collective $1.26 billion domestically when nominations were announced on Jan. 22. (Black Panther's North American earnings alone were $700 million.)

"This year's crop of best picture nominees represent one of the highest-grossing groupings in recent years, and this could benefit the Feb. 9 Academy Awards telecast in terms of ratings because the more people feel they have a vested interest in the films, the more likely, theoretically, they are to watch the Oscars," says Paul Dergarabedian of Comscore.

A decade ago, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — hoping to stem declining Oscar ratings — expanded the best picture category from five to as many as 10 slots in order to include more commercial fare alongside specialty titles.

The top best picture contender in terms of box office this time around is Warner Bros.' Joker, which has earned $334 million to date in North America and $1.07 billion globally (the R-rated superhero pic nabbed 11 Oscar noms, the most of any film).

That's followed by Sony's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which has grossed $141.1 million domestically; Fox and Disney's Ford v Ferrari ($111.4 million); Sony's Little Women ($74 million); Amblin and Universal's 1917 ($39.2 million); Neon's Parasite ($25.4 million) and Fox Searchlight's Jojo Rabbit ($22 million).

The biggest box office beneficiary from Monday's Oscar nominations will be 1917, which opened nationwide over the weekend. Some analysts believe the World War I epic could ultimately gross north of $130 million domestically, one of the best showings of all time for a period war movie.

A best picture Oscar nomination can also be of huge value overseas.

Little Women, which debuted on Christmas Day, is also primed to see a boost from its Oscar noms. Ditto for Parasite, a South Korean film which is on its way to becoming one of the top-grossing foreign-language films of all time in the U.S.

Jojo Rabbit and Ford v Ferrari could also add some money to their coffers, although both are well into their runs. Once Upon a Time is long gone from the big screen, while Joker is winding down.

Two years ago, the films competing for top Oscar honors had grossed $380.1 million domestically at the time nominations were announced, preceded by $483.9 million, $606.6 million, $205.1 million, $687.3 million and $620.4 million, according to Comscore.

Netflix picked up a total of 24 Oscar noms on Monday, the most of any film company in another sign of the streamer's meteoric rise in Hollywood. The company contends that filmmakers get the benefit of its global footprint, as well as a run in indie theaters willing to carry Netflix titles.

Since first opening in late November, The Irishman has played in roughly 2,000 theaters worldwide, and Marriage Story in about 1,000 theaters, according to sources. Both are still available to watch on the big screen, even while Netflix declines to provide any grosses.