Oscar Box Office: 'Green Book' Gets Biggest Post-Nomination Bump

Patti Perret/Universal Studios
'Green Book'

The fabled halo effect associated with a best picture nomination hasn't been as glowing for 'Vice' and 'The Favourite.'

Green Book is this year's biggest recipient of the fabled Oscar bump at the box office after initially struggling to take root.

The Amblin and Participant Media dramedy has nearly doubled its North American gross — from $35 million to $66 million through Feb. 18 — since winning its Golden Globe for best comedy/musical in early January and landing five Academy Awards noms on Jan. 22.

Green Book has earned 36 percent of its domestic cume post-Oscar nominations, or $24 million, according to Comscore. Universal waited to expand the film, which hit theaters in mid-November, in a major way until it landed a spot in the coveted best picture race.

"The movie is a textbook example of how to release a potential contender for maximum benefit. Universal did a masterful job of nurturing the film through the natural ebb and flow of the box office cycle from its relatively quiet release back in November to its re-invention as a breakout hit some two months later once the film had secured multiple nominations," says Comscore senior analyst Paul Dergarabedian.

Overseas, the Peter Farrelly-directed film has likewise benefited from awards love after waiting to roll out until awards season entered its final stretch. In mid-January, Green Book's foreign gross stood at $2.8 million from its first 11 markets. Through Sunday, the international cume was a hearty $60.6 million.

Hollywood for years has relied on awards season to boost the box office fortunes of its movies, and particularly its specialty titles. A best picture Oscar nomination can translate into tens of millions of dollars in additional ticket sales.

This year, the bump has been more modest than usual for some titles, even as the combined gross of the eight best picture contenders is a huge $1.31 billion, the best showing in nearly a decade. The surge is due to the fact that Academy voters have embraced commercial hits including Black PantherBohemian Rhapsody and A Star Is Born, versus largely favoring specialty titles.

Among the other 2019 best picture nominees, Fox Searchlight's prestige royal drama The Favourite has grown its domestic cume from $23 million to $31 million post-nomination, a gain of $8.3 million (or 27 percent of its cume). Last year, Searchlight's best picture contenders Three Billboard Outside of Ebbing, Missouri, and eventual winner The Shape of Water added notably more post-nomination — $22.3 million and $33.4 million, respectively.

Annapurna's best picture contestant Vice earned another $7 million since Jan. 22 for a domestic total of $46.2 million through Sunday, Feb. 19. The percentage of the gross garnered post-nomination is 14 percent.

For the remaining movies vying for the top prize at Sunday's ceremony, post-nomination grosses have been gravy, since they were already box office wins. Fox and New Regency's Bohemian Rhapsody has added $9.7 million for a domestic cume of $212 million and Warner Bros.' A Star is Born, $5.2 million for a total $210 million.

Disney and Marvel's Black Panther ($700 million domestically) and Focus Features' BlacKkKlansman ($48.7 million) were long gone from theaters by the time of Oscar noms.