Ah, the perennial Oscar nom box office boost. Every year it’s debated how much of an impact Oscars have on a contender’s tickets sales.
In the past, there were those years when a deluge of best picture nominees found themselves on DVD by Oscar night, thus refuting the notion that nominations have any impact at all. However since 2014, the percent boost in total B.O. for a best picture Oscar nominee has averaged close to 60% between the day noms are announced and Oscar night. This year that average is expected to increase to +95%.
While there are fewer best pic contenders on the marquee this year–five of eight with The Revenant, Room, Spotlight, Brooklyn and The Big Short –– this crop is projected to generate between a +35% to +188% boom in each respective title’s total cumes by Oscar night. In 2014 all nine best pictures relished an average uptick of 48% between nom and trophy day.
Out of all the best picture nominees, many think Room has the most to gain percent wise, potentially upping its current $5.2M domestic cume by two to three times ($10M-$15M) by February 28. Rival distribs believe that Room is still under the radar since it hasn’t busted past 200 theaters (it’s expected to be at the 300 mark this weekend). However, Room‘s multiple depends on whether it can book 1,000-plus playdates. To date, a VOD/DVD release date hasn’t been announced for the Lenny Abrahamson film, so the pic’s receipts won’t be crimped during the Oscar stretch. A24 didn’t make any comments on projected runs or B.O. beyond this weekend, but when we spoke to them back in November, it was always part of their plan to play off any earned Oscar and Golden Globe heat. Among some of its key wins, Room has a best actress Golden Globe for Brie Larson and the Toronto International Film Festival’s People’s Choice Award, a noted Oscar bellwether. While A24 aired national spots during Room‘s run in the top 50 markets during the fall, its TV spot spend is registering under iSpot.TV’s radar.
The second best picture nom looking at a huge boost is 20th Century Fox/New Regency’s The Revenant which could hit $130M-$140M by Oscar night, repping a total cume boost of +140% to +159% from its current gross of $54.1M. Non-Fox execs report that the Alejandro Inarritu film was already destined to swell at the box office, with or without noms. But since the film counts 12, that will spur an additional $30M-$40M to its stateside gross. ISpot.TV reports that $21.2M was spent on TV ads and media for the Leonardo DiCaprio movie with a third of that aimed at guys watching NFL, NBA and ESPN. RelishMix reports that #RevenantMovie is currently soaring on Twitter off its Globe wins and Oscars noms with 9K hashtags a day. Compare that to this weekend’s big release #RideAlong which has built up to 2K per day. Even better: In the hours since today’s Oscar nominations announcement, Fandango saw an 80% uptick in ticket sales for The Revenant, ranking as the #1 ticket-seller of the day.
Another Oscar contender looking to double its stateside cume from $7M to $14M off its six noms is Weinstein Co.’s Carol. Even though the Todd Haynes film didn’t land best picture, recognition for its leading actress (Cate Blanchett) and supporting (Rooney Mara) remains potent B.O. fuel enough. Carol grows from 525 sites to 790 tomorrow with an eye on passing 1,000 the following weekend.
Paramount’s The Big Short which possesses five Oscar noms currently counts $44.6M. Non-Paramount sources believe the Adam McKay film has another $25M left in its run with strong play in metro areas. That would give Big Short a 56% boost by Feb. 28. Per iSpotTV, Paramount has shelled out $18.7M on national ads and media since mid November with a significant amount landing at the four major networks, ESPN and NFL football.
With Oscar noms for best picture, actress, and adapted screenplay Fox Searchlight’s Brooklyn is projected to yield 45%, moving its current domestic B.O. from $22.8M to $33M. Over the last two weekends, Brooklyn‘s respective per theater average of $4K+ and $3K+ have bested those of Spotlight and Danish Girl. Tomorrow the John Crowley-helmed movie widens from 290 to 687 venues, and will reside between 800-900 theaters on January 22. Since October, national TV spot spent is at $3.3M on such networks as Bravo, Food Network, HGTV, CNBC and CBS.
Open Road’s Spotlight will move from 368 playdates to 985 tomorrow. The distributor will add a few hundred more next Friday. The Tom McCarthy-directed movie which landed six noms today will cross $30M tomorrow and industry analysts also believe Spotlight has another $10M or so left it by Oscar night, repping a 35% hike. Since late October an estimated $7.3M has been spent in TV ads, chiefly on ESPN, TNT, Comedy Central, HGTV and TBS.
Those films not expected to make any seismic movements in their domestic tallies since they’re largely played out are 20th Century Fox’s The Martian, Warner Bros./Village Roadshow’s Mad Max: Fury Road and DreamWorks’ Bridge of Spies. Mad Max has been on DVD since September, but it’s headed into eight different markets at 18 locations (venues like the The Arclight chain) tomorrow in response to its 10 nominations. In the week leading up to the Academy Awards, Mad Max will be booked at a number of Oscar best picture showcases around the country numbering 180 sites.
Last Oscar season was an anomaly with Warner Bros./Village Roadshow’s American Sniper in the mix. The Clint Eastwood film was a monster, moving its total B.O. of $3.4M on Oscar nom day to $320M by ceremony night, translating into a nine-fold surge. Many box office analysts agree that the ticket sales phenomenon for American Sniper was largely fueled by it hitting a nerve with the American heartland and veterans; that its awards recognition was partially responsible for any B.O. jumps. Given how much American Sniper was off the chart, when factoring it out of last year’s Oscar boost calculations, last year’s crop of best pic noms saw a 69% increase in their total cumes by Oscar night.
Projected Best Pic Boosts At The B.O.