The Oscar box office is dwindling

All at once by Michelle Yeoh.

Source: imdb

At Sunday’s Oscars, the Best Picture winner may not make it to the box office for taking home the night’s biggest prize.

It’s part of the evolution of Hollywood. The covid pandemic and increased flow have changed the industry dramatically. The result was a slight increase in the box office during the nominations and a significant increase in streaming demand.

From late January through Wednesday, this year’s top 10 picture nominations totaled $82 million in domestic box office sales, $71 million of which came from Avatar: The Last Airbender . (“Waterway” grossed more than $670 million in North America.)

By comparison, the 2020 nominees have grossed about $201 million at the domestic box office since debuting in mid-January, according to Comscore data. The Oscars were handed out on February 9 that year, before the Covid pandemic was declared and work was suspended.

“Many of this year’s contenders appeared earlier in the release calendar and thus were ‘in play’ in terms of their chances of receiving an Oscar bonus in theaters,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.

Previously nominated films like “1917,” “Hidden Figures” and “Silver Linings Playbook” made 50% or more of their domestic box office earnings after rejection, according to Comscore data. . 99% of 2014’s American Sniper box office sales came after its nomination, $346 million.

This year, all top pictures saw less than 13% of their post-nomination box office revenue. According to Comscore, “Women Speak Out,” one of the biggest award-nominated mini-films, took in 77% of its earnings after nominations, or about $3.9 million.

“Winning an Oscar is nothing new,” said Brandon Katz, industry strategist at Parrot Analytics. “For decades we’ve seen nominees buy extra box office tickets after the picture nominations are announced. But what’s changed recently, especially with the Oscars being a month later than usual in recent years and them. The impact of Covid is a trickle down.”

Parrot Analytics found that average audience demand increased by 21% in the week after a Top 10 Picture nominee received a nomination. This demand metric is calculated by looking at consumption, including piracy, social media posts and interactions, social video viewing, and online research on sites like IMDb and Wikipedia.

Much of this demand can be seen in streaming. Only six of the top 10 picture nominees posted comparable box office figures in the week after the nominations were announced.

“Banshee of Inishreen” saw the biggest percentage increase between the week before and after the nominations, with ticket sales up 381%. However, this represents a jump from $73,000 at the box office to $352,000.

This weekend, contenders “All At Once,” “Fablemen,” “Tar,” “Triangle of Sorrows” and “Women Talk” each earned less than $1 million in ticket sales, despite taking a significant hit in viewership.

Only Avatar: The Last Airbender , which saw a 21% drop in weekend ticket sales after the nominations, grossed more than $1 million, accounting for $15.9 million domestically.

The striking difference lies in when these movies were released, their availability on streaming platforms, and the genres of the movies.

Blockbuster ‘Waterway’ has been in theaters for its sixth week and has been rocking at the box office, while ‘All At Once’ is back on the big screen after a nearly six-month hiatus.

In particular, “All at once” was in the public zeitgeist for almost a year before the nominations were revealed. The film was released at the end of March 2022.

Movies are now everywhere instantly

Traditionally, Oscar films are released in the last quarter of the year, with most of them showing in theaters in November and December. For this year’s contenders, only three debuted in the last two months of last year.

In the past, the Academy Awards were held in February, so films released in October may be showing only in theaters if the pandemic has pushed the event to March.

However, this year, eight of the 10 Best Picture nominees at the time of the nominations in late January were available for streaming. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, Katz said.

“For the last couple of years, everybody’s been talking about: theaters and streaming. I’ve never seen it,” Katz said. “I don’t think the data necessarily supports that. I think these two environments can be complementary and complementary and not oppositional.”

As Katz notes, some films get a box office boost from a nomination, but having titles in the pipeline can create buzz and momentum later in the voting period.

“Obviously, it’s hard to argue with the dollar sign and box office numbers,” says Wade Payson-Denny of Parrot Analytics. “But that’s only part of the equation now. Streaming plays a big role.”

All Quiet on the Western Front is up 59% in the week following its Best Picture nomination. The film ran in theaters for a limited time, long enough to garner Oscar controversy before it went home. Netflix. The fact that the film was only available on streaming is probably why it saw the biggest spike in demand.

This also explains the lack of box office figures for the film.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Avatar: The Last Airbender and Top Gun: Maverick have both dropped demand for 2022’s biggest box office hits.

The drop in demand for Maverick may be due to the fact that the film has been in public release since May and will be released in late December. Waterway is still in theaters and won’t be released until later this month. Those who want to watch these movies have had enough time or have seen them recently that they don’t feel the need to rewatch or pirate them.

“Sunday’s telecast will serve as a three-hour and infomercial featuring the year’s most notable films and performances,” Dergarabedian said. “This should encourage viewers to seek out these films at home.”

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal distributes “1917” and “The Fablemans.”

CORRECTION: This article has been updated to show that the 2020 candidates have taken in about $201 million at the domestic box office since their nominations in mid-January.

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