While studios took advantage of expanding their Oscar nominated Best Pictures this weekend — it’s truly a post-apocalyptic, err, post-pandemic marketplace when it comes to reaping any huge box office afterglow from this year’s crop. And the irony is that there’s only one streaming title among the top 10 Best Picture bunch, that being Netflix’s All Quiet on the Western Front, OTT services never disclosing grosses.
Given how a majority of these titles are available in the home, either on streaming or PVOD, don’t expect the typical post-nom total box office surge. Between last Tuesday’s nominations and Oscar night, March 12, i.e. back in 2020, 1917 jumped 210% between noms and Oscar night; the ultimate Best Picture winner, Parasite, jumped 40%, Little Women was +37%, and Jojo Rabbit had that same uptick as well.
Those days, at least this year, are gone, with Avatar: The Way of Water and United Artists Releasing’s Women Talking being the only Best Picture nominees still within a pure theatrical window.
That said, there was a box office anomaly in A24’s rerelease of the 11-Oscar nominated Everything Everywhere All at Once in 1,400 theaters. The Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert-directed movie collected an amazing $1.014M — and that’s with the pic available to watch for free in Showtime subscriber homes. While the movie didn’t have access to any Imax or PLFs, I’m told the surge here came from the pic’s tried and true fans. A24’s highest-grossing movie of all-time now rises to $71M at the domestic box office. The movie, which opened on March 25, 2022, has already played 28 weeks in theaters.
The 4x nominated Avatar: The Way of Water among all the Best Pictures this year stands to clearly make the most by Oscar night, as it remains in its theatrical window. However, Oscar noms or no Oscar noms, this blockbuster was never losing momentum this winter. By the time trophies are handed out, it’s estimated that the James Cameron-directed sequel’s stateside gross will stand at $675M, +12% from its running cume on Oscar nom Tuesday. The movie eased 22% in its 7th No. 1 weekend, with a 3-day of $15.7M. The pic will cede its Dolby screens and PLF to Universal’s M. Night Shyamalan title Knock at the Cabin next weekend, which is expected to take No. 1 with $17M+.
Benefiting from a pure theatrical play was UAR’s Women Talking, which reaped $1.013M (+167%) at 707 theaters (+654) in its sixth weekend for a $2.39M running cume. The distribution strategy for the Sarah Polley-directed drama about an isolated group of religious women confronting their disturbing past is one out of the old awards season playbook: Playing straight into a movie’s Oscar heat and making money off of that.
The rest of this year’s Best Pictures saw weekend-to-weekend gains as their studios increased their theater counts. However, most of these movies are already played out in theaters and available in the home, read:
—The Fabelmans (Amblin/Uni), 1,962 theaters (+1,015), 3-day $760K, +72%, cume $16M in weekend 12; it’s already available to watch on PVOD.
—Banshees of Inisherin (Searchlight), 1,205 (+1,050 theaters) 3-day $353K (+384%), cume $9.8M in weekend 15. The 9x Oscar nominated title can be watched on HBO Max.
—Tar (Focus Features), 537 theaters (+431), 3-day $173K (+138%), cume $6.1M in weekend 17. The Todd Field-directed, 6x nominated movie can be seen on Peacock.
—Elvis (Warner Bros) in 841 theaters (+777) did an estimated $152K (+950%) in its 32nd weekend. The Baz Luhrmann-directed, 8x Oscar nominated movie can be watched on HBO Max and counts a running total in U.S./Canada of $151.1M.
Despite the huge percent jumps here, note the grosses here are a far cry from the post-Oscar nom weekend back in January 2020. Granted, it was MLK weekend, Jan. 17-19 then, but get a load of the huge money which was being made by pics that were further along in their theatrical release: Little Women ($6.3M in weekend 4, -18%), Parasite ($1.7M in weekend 15, +79%), Jojo Rabbit ($1.48M, +630% in weekend 14), Ford v. Ferrari ($1.07M, +40% in weekend 10).
Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick, which is available to watch on Paramount+, didn’t have an official theatrical rerelease post Oscar noms. NEON didn’t report any grosses this past weekend on Triangle of Sadness, which is available to watch on PVOD and digital.
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