Oscar 2007: Impact of Oscar Wins and Nominations on Best Pictures

The Coen brothers' “No Country for Old Men” will benefit commercially from its Best Picture Oscar win, due to the fact that the movie is still in theaters.

It's the first time since “Million Dollar Baby” 3 years ago that the winner of the top Oscar can partake in the traditional box office surge that follows such a win. In each of the last two years the winning films, “The Departed” and “Crash,” were done with their theatrical runs by the time of the Oscars.

Through Sunday, the domestic gross for “No Country” was $64.2 million. But the film could make an additional $10 million to $20 million. The movie also won supporting actor, director and adapted screenplay Oscars.

The Oscar wins also should boost international box office receipts. Through Sunday, “No Country” has grossed $37 million overseas.

“No Country,” like “There Will Be Blood,” which won Best Actor and Cinematography, is a Miramax-Paramount Vantage co-production. Miramax is domestic distributor of “No Country”; Vantage is domestic distributor of “Blood.”

“No Country” is the Coen brothers' highest-grossing film. “O Brother, Where Art Thou” previously held that distinction, grossing $45.5 million domestically.

The post-Oscar bump is most tied to the Best Picture category, although films winning in the director, actor and actress categories often see some uptick.

The winner of the Oscar for animated feature went to Disney-Pixar's “Ratatouille,” which is long gone from the marquee. Film grossed $620 million at the worldwide box office after its debut in June and was released on DVD in November.

Picturehouse's Edith Piaff biopic “La Vie en rose” is done with its theatrical run, so won't enjoy a box office bump as a result of Marion Cotillard's actress win. The French pic grossed $10 million domestically and $71.9 million overseas. It was released on DVD in the U.S. in late October. “Ratatouille” and “La Vie en Rose” could enjoy a boost in DVD sales.

After nominations are announced and after Oscar night. Marketing departments will take less than day to incorporate the attention in their campaigns.

For the Best Picture contenders, the awards bump has been strong this year with all five titles enjoying strong gains after Oscar nominations were announced January 22.

“No Country,” released on November 9, hung back in late December and early January before expanding out again to take advantage of award nominations.

Warner's “Michael Clayton” is an even more dramatic example. Film bowed on Oct. 5, playing wide until mid-November, when its runs were cut way back to await the heart of awards seasons. On Jan. 25, films expanded out again to more than 1,000 runs, growing its estimated domestic total of $48.5 million by nearly $10 million. By last week, when “Clayton” came out on DVD, it was playing on fewer than 500.

“No Country” was the top recipient of the attention, with a 19% uptick in business as the film grossed an estimated $2.3 million from 1,101 theaters. The other three pictures showed only narrow declines from the previous weekend, which was a holiday.

“Juno” stayed on the top 10 box office chart, declining a narrow 11% to an estimated $4.1 million from 1,727 runs for a cume of $130.4 million in its 12th frame. It has become the most successful specialty release in six years.

“Blood” came in No. 10, declining a narrow 16% to an estimated $2.6 million from 1,402 runs for a cume of $35 million in its ninth weekend. Of the five nominees, “Blood” was released last, on Dec. 16.

Focus Features' “Atonement” came in No. 15, declining 18% to an estimated $1.2 million from 755 runs for a cume of $49.4 million in its 12th sesh.

Each of the five nominees benefited since the January 22 nominations:

“Juno” grossed $42.5 million. Cume is $130.5 million.

“Blood” grossed $25.8 million. Cume is $35 million.

“Atonement” grossed $16.4 million. Cume is $49.4 million.

“No Country” grossed $14.1 million. Cume is $62.4 million.

“Clayton” has grossed $9 million. Cume is $48.5 million.