UPDATED at 11:45AM PT with more numbers and analysis. A handful of limited-release Best Picture nominees are going into tonight’s awards with some box-office wind in their sails, placing most of tonight’s contenders on par with most recent recipients of the top prize.
All of the specialty Best Picture nominees still in release upped their theater counts heading into the awards-season climax, which has offered an extra week of playtime due to the Winter Olympics. Still at the head of the pack is Fox Searchlight’s The Shape of Water, which went past $57M this weekend with its awards momentum intact. Tonight’s awards tally will determine how much more could be in store for the film directed by Guillermo del Toro.
As for the other hopefuls, Darkest Hour went over $55M, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri crossed $52M, while Lady Bird topped $48M and Phantom Thread went over $20M. SPC’s Call Me By Your Name edged past $17M in its 15th weekend.
The 2018 Oscar-Nominated Short Films reached $3.26M over the weekend, the highest mark yet for the annual compendium of shorts. Among the weekend’s newcomers, only Sony Classics reported numbers for Foxtrot, which opened in four New York and L.A. locations, grossing $36,786. Well Go USA’s second weekend holdover Operation Red Sea held solidly, taking in $325K in 55 theaters.
Specialty openers are often overshadowed on Oscar weekend, but Foxtrot managed to find some energy in its debut. The Israeli drama, which was short-listed this year in the foreign-language Oscar category, grossed $36,786, averaging a decent $9,197. SPC, which has two films nominated in the category — A Fantastic Woman (Chile) and Loveless (Russia) — had hoped the feature would join the group.
“We were surprised it didn’t make one of the five. It really deserves it,” said SPC co-president Michael Barker. “It’s one of the major foreign films of the year.” The feature will next head to locations in Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. as well as other markets in the coming weeks.
Operation Red Sea from Well Go USA had a solid start last weekend and it continued to hold well in its second frame with a small expansion. The Chinese thriller grossed $325K in 55 locations, averaging $5,909 (-48%) bringing its cume to over $969K. In its debut, the title took in $510K in 45 locations, averaging $11,333.
2018 Oscar-Nominated Short Films, meanwhile, surpassed $3M for the first time. Magnolia Pictures, which is releasing this crop of shorts along with ShortsTV, officially beat last year’s record of $2.83M on Thursday. Noted Magnolia on Sunday: “Every year, the Oscar Shorts have outgrossed the previous year’s release, but this is our biggest increase ever, and we should approach or slightly exceed $3.5M by the end of our run.”
Sony Classics more than doubled its theater count for Loveless in its third frame, grossing $60,583 in 25 locations, averaging $2,423. Last weekend, the title averaged $5,455 from a $65,457 gross from 12 runs. It has cumed $220,691.
The distributor’s A Fantastic Woman, also had added runs in its fifth outing. The Chilean feature grossed $150,193 in 89 locations, averaging $1,688. The title took in over $162K in 78 theaters the weekend prior, averaging $2,081. It has cumed nearly $807K.
Of the first-weekend limited release Best Picture Nominees currently in theaters, most are in the same realm in terms of box office totals as the Best Picture winners of the past several years. Last year’s winner, Moonlight, cumed $27.8M, 2015 winner, Spotlight, totaled $45M, while 2014’s recipient, Birdman cumed $42.3M. The 2013 winner, 12 Years a Slave, stopped just shy of $57M at the box office.
If, however, yesterday’s Independent Spirit Awards Best Feature winner, Get Out, manages to take tonight’s top prize, then it will even outdo the last few Best Picture winners at the box office to top nine digits. The last of that group was Argo in 2012 ($136M), with The King’s Speech (2010) at $135.4M and 2008 winner Slumdog Millionaire ($141M) also in the higher bracket. Get Out stands at $176M, which even outranks La La Land, which had a two-minute run as Best Picture last year.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, surpassed $20M over the weekend, grossing $590K in 715 theaters Friday to Sunday, averaging $829.
Nominated for three Oscars including Best Actress for Margot Robbie and Best Supporting Actress, Allison Janney, Neon/30West’s I, Tonya has landed at just under $29M in its 13th weekend of release. The title grossed just over $561K in 511 locations, averaging $1,098.
The Shape of Water, which leads all Oscar films with 13 nominations, grossed $1.4M this weekend in 832 locations ($1,683 PTA) bringing its cume to over $57.3M.
Focus Features’ Darkest Hour starring Best Actor nominee Gary Oldman went over $55M this weekend. In 913 theaters, the title grossed $570K, averaging $622 — good enough to bring its theatrical total to $55,424,000.
SPC brought Call Me By Your Name’s theater count to 914 for the big awards weekend. Starring Timothée Chalamet, who won Best Actor at yesterday’s Spirit Awards and is nominated in the equivalent category at the Oscars, topped $17M in its fifteenth weekend. The title grossed nearly $920K this weekend, averaging $1,006.
Golden Globes Best Drama winner Three Billboards topped $52M this weekend. Starring Spirit Award winner Frances McDormand, the Oscar-nominated title grossed $1.23M in 770 locations, averaging $1,597.
A24’s Lady Bird, up for five nominations this evening including Best Picture, is at over $48.28M in its 18th weekend of release from a weekend gross of $532K in 710 locations. The feature’s writer-director Greta Gerwig won Best Screenplay yesterday at the Independent Spirit Awards. She is also up for Oscar in the same category as well as Best Director and the title is vying for Best Picture.
And Spirit Awards winner for Best Documentary, Faces Places, went over $900K in its 22nd weekend of in theaters, one of the longest-running films still in continuous release. Directed by J.R. and Agnès Varda, the Oscar-Nominated doc took in $21,113 Friday to Sunday, averaging $1,055 bringing its total cume to $900,903.
Foxtrot (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $36,786, Average $9,197
Operation Red Sea (Well Go USA) Week 2 [55 Theaters] Weekend $325,000, Average $5,909, Cume $969,208
The Young Karl Marx (The Orchard) Week 2 [12 Theaters] Weekend $17,533, Average $1,461, Cume $58,277
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Double Lover (Cohen Media Group) Week 3 [3 Theaters] Weekend $3,586, Average $1,195, Cume $155,084
Loveless (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 3 [25 Theaters] Weekend $60,583, Average $2,423, Cume $220,691
Nostalgia (Bleecker Street) Week 3 [140 Theaters] Weekend $40,626, Average $290, Cume $84,861
The Party (Roadside Attractions) Week 3 [92 Theaters] Weekend $140,915, Average $1,532, Cume $330,479
Samson (Pure Flix) Week 3 [434 Theaters] Weekend $304,000, Average $700, Cume $4,436,089
2018 Oscar-Nominated Short Films (ShortsTV/Magnolia Pictures) Week 4 [271 Theaters] Weekend $400,000, Average $1,476, Cume $3,266,529
La Boda de Valentina (Pantelion/Lionsgate) Week 4 [95 Theaters] Weekend $95,000, Average $1,000, Cume $2,675,608
A Fantastic Woman (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 5 [89 Theaters] Weekend $150,193, Average $1,688, Cume $806,746
Forever My Girl (Roadside Attractions) Week 7 [145 Theaters] Weekend $90,601, Average $625, Cume $16,174,498
The Insult (Cohen Media Group) Week 8 [47 Theaters] Weekend $55,592, Average $1,183, Cume $858,795
Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 10 [53 Theaters] Weekend $30,025, Average $567, Cume $772,557
Hostiles (Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures) Week 11 [251 Theaters] Weekend $166,000, Average $661, Cume $29,472,339
Phantom Thread (Focus Features) Week 11 [715 Theaters] Weekend $590,000, Average $829, Cume $20,100,000
I, Tonya (Neon/30West) Week 13 [511 Theaters] Weekend $561,061, Average $1,098, Cume $28,950,158
The Shape of Water (Fox Searchlight) Week 14 [832 Theaters] Weekend $1,400,000, Average $1,683, Cume $57,393,976
Call Me By Your Name (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 15 [914 Theaters] Weekend $919,926, Average $1,006, Cume $17,045,988
Darkest Hour (Focus Features) Week 15 [913 Theaters] Weekend $570,000, Average $622, Cume $55,424,000
Thelma (The Orchard) Week 17 [1 Theater] Weekend $778, Cume $147,112
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Fox Searchlight) Week 17 [770 Theaters] Weekend $1,230,000, Average $1,597, Cume $52,000,189
Lady Bird (A24) Week 18 [710 Theaters] Weekend $532,204, Average $750, Cume $48,285,330
BPM (Beats Per Minute) (The Orchard) Week 20 [1 Theaters] Weekend $2,480, Cume $118,384
Faces Places (Cohen Media Group) Week 22 [20 Theaters] Weekend $21,113, Average $1,055, Cume $900,903