Oscars: 'Shape of Water' Is Top-Grossing Best Picture Winner in Five Years

The Shape of Water Still 3 - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

Guillermo del Toro's adult fairy tale has earned $57.4 million to date in the U.S.

For the better part of two decades, many Oscar best picture winners weren't mainstream players at the U.S. box office. Rather, they were specialty darlings.

Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water — which walked away with the top prize at Sunday night's Academy Awards ceremony — is likewise a specialty player, but has fared better than most.

To date, Shape of Water has grossed $57.4 million domestically and $126.4 million worldwide. (In addition to best picture, del Toro took home his first Academy Award for best director.)

The Fox Searchlight movie is the top-grossing best picture winner since Argo five years ago, and Argo was a major studio release. Directed by Ben Affleck, Argo earned $136 million domestically and $232 million worldwide for Warner Bros.

Last year's best picture winner, Moonlight, topped out at $22.1 million domestically and $27.8 worldwide; the year before that, champ Spotlight grossed $45 domestically and $43.3 million overseas for a total $88.3 million. Three years ago, Birdman took in took in $37.8 million domestically and $103.2 million worldwide, preceded the year before by 12 Years a Slave with $50.3 million domestically (it went on to earn $187.7 million globally).

Those four films were from specialty distributors A24, Open Road and Fox Searchlight, respectively. Searchlight released both Birdman and 12 Years a Slave.

Shape of Water still has numerous major foreign territories in which to open.