Oscar 2018: Best Picture Nominees at the Box-Office

Only two of the nine Best Picture nominees, Jordan Peele’s Get Out and Chris Nolan’s Dunkirk have topped $100 million at the domestic box office and could be labeled blockbusters.

This year is the lowest-grossing crop of best picture contenders since 2011.

“The Oscars are rewarding more and more niche films,” said Jeff Bock, a box office analyst with Exhibitor Relations. “There’s not a lot to talk about in terms of social media buzz or pop culture significance.”

Seven of the nine nominees–The Shape of Water, Darkest Hour, Lady Bird, were platform releases, smaller indie films that open in a modest number of theaters before expanding over weeks and months.

Big superhero movies, such as Wonder Woman or Logan, are not art of the Oscars. Warners’ Gal Gadot hit was shut out completely of the nominations, and Fox’s Wolverine sequel, Logan, received only a screenplay nomination.

When the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS)expanded the list of best picture contenders in 2009 from five to a possible 10, the hope was that voters would move beyond art and indie films.

Members had been disappointed that Oscar voters had snubbed Chris Nolan’s acclaimed “The Dark Knight,” and believed that by widening the field there will be room for films that viewers had actually seen before the telecast.


Last year’s Oscar winner, “Moonlight,” was one of the lowest Best Pictures in terms of box-office grosses.  While its global take was $65.05 million, less than half of it, or $27.85 million derived from US earnings, though it’s important to remember that the budget of the 2016 highly acclaimed film was only $4 million.