Oscar 2016: Impact of Nominations on Commercial Appeal

After winning in top categories, Best Picture, Director, and Actor at the Golden Globes, on January 10, The Revenant scored 12 Academy Award nominations, the most of any film.  They include Best Picture, Best Director (Alejandro G. Inarritu) and Best Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio).

After this morning announcement of nominations, advance ticket sales quickly jumped more than 80 percent day-over-day, according to Fandango.

Films securing a best picture nom enjoy a notable box-office bump between the Globes/Oscar nominations and the Academy Awards ceremony (which this year is on Feb. 28), and The Revenant‘s could be significant since it is new in the marketplace.

The movie opened last weekend to a better-than-expected $39.2 million when expanding nationwide before pulling ahead of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Monday, the day following the Globes.

The eight Best Picture nominees have earned a combined $606.5 million domestically. That’s an average of $75.8 million, one of the better showings in recent years and up 196 percent from last year’s dismal $25.6 million average at the time of the nominations.

Still, the range is wide, with The Martian on one end ($226.6 million) and Room on the other ($5.2 million).

Had Star Wars: The Force Awakens been nominated, the average would have shot up to $179 million, a heady number for organizers of the Academy Awards who are looking for a ratings boost.

The next top domestic grosser among best picture nominees after The Martian is Mad Max: Fury Road ($153.6 million), followed by Bridge of Spies ($70.8 million), The Revenant ($54.1 million),The Big Short ($44.6 million), Spotlight ($28.8 million), Brooklyn ($22.8 million) and Room.

Like The Revenant, The Big Short also could enjoy a notable awards bump since it is relatively new at the cineplex, having opened nationwide December 23.

The specialty art films Brooklyn, Room and Spotlight have been in theaters longer, though they were never given wide releases.


Room has never played in more than 198 theaters since A24 opened the specialty film Oct. 16, but it will up its location count to roughly 300 theaters this weekend.

Launching November 4 in a limited run, Brooklyn played in 908 theaters at its widest point. This weekend, Fox Searchlight will increase Brooklyn‘s theater count from 285 to 681.

Grossing $28.8 million since bowing November 6 in select theaters, Spotlight also will up its theater count from roughly 360 locations to nearly 1,000.  At its widest release, the movie played in 1,089 cinemas.

The Revenant stayed No. 1 on Tuesday and Wednesday, passing up Inarritu’s Oscar-winner Birdman ($42 million) to mark the best showing of the director’s career.

This weekend, Fox will increase the movie’s theater count from 3,375 to 3,557, including a berth in 54 Imax locations. The frontier epic is expected to cross $30 million to stay ahead of Force Awakens, although the top spot could go to new entry Ride Along 2, which opens Friday.