Oscar: Best-Picture Winners by Month of Release

What’s the best month to release an Oscar-winning contender And what’s the worst month

Over the past 27 years, more than half (14 out of 27) of the Oscar-winning pictures were released in December; 4 in November; none in October; and 4 in September. Clint Eastwood’s “Unforgiven” is the only Best Picture winner to have opened in August!

December: 14

Million Dollar Baby 2004
Lord of the Rings: 2003
Return of the King
Chicago 2002
A Beautiful Mind 2001
Shakespeare in Love 1998
Titanic 1997
Schindler’s List 1993
Driving Miss Daisy 1989
Rain Man 1988
Platoon 1986
Out of Africa 1985
Gandhi 1982
Kramer Vs. Kramer 1979
The Deer Hunter 1978

November: 4

The English Patient 1996
Dances With Wolves 1990
The Last Emperor 1987
Terms of Endearment 1983

October: None

September: 4

American Beauty 1999
Amadeus 1984
Chariots of Fire 1981
Ordinary People 1980

August: 1

Unforgiven 1992

July: 1

Forrest Gump 1994

June: None

May: 2

Crash 2005
Braveheart 1995

April: None

March: None

February: 1

Silence of the Lambs 1991

Oscar-Winners by Year and Month of Release

Film Year Month

Crash 2005 May

Million Dollar Baby 2004 December

Lord of the Rings: 2003 December
Return of the King

Chicago 2002 December

A Beautiful Mind 2001 December

Gladiator 2000 May

American Beauty 1999 September

Shakespeare in Love 1998 December

Titanic 1997 December

The English Patient 1996 November

Braveheart 1995 May

Forrest Gump 1994 July

Schindler’s List 1993 December

Unforgiven 1992 August

Silence of Lambs 1991 February

Dances With Wolves 1990 November

Driving Miss Daisy 1989 December

Rain Man 1988 December

The Last Emperor 1987 November

Platoon 1986 December

Out of Africa 1985 December

Amadeus 1984 September

Terms of Endearment 1983 November

Gandhi 1982 December

Chariots of Fire 1981 September

Ordinary People 1980 September

Kramer Vs. Kramer 1979 December

The Deer Hunter 1978 December