Barbie and Oppenheimer could boost ratings| Trending Viral hub

“Barbenheimer” may be the gift that keeps on giving.

After “Greta Gerwig”Barbie“and “Christopher Nolan”oppenheimer” lit up the summer box office, blockbusters with two release dates are bringing populist energy to the Oscar awards. However, the double of “Barbie” ($1.445 million worldwide) and “Oppenheimer” ($957 million), along with the brave help of Martin Scorsese’s crime epic “The Flower Moon Killers” ($156 million), cannot compete. with the box office power of last year’s contenders.

Led by “Avatar: The Way of Water” ($2.3 billion) and “Top Gun: Maverick” ($1.5 billion), the 10 films nominated for best picture in 2023 were collectively the highest-grossing in more than a decade. , accumulating 4.4 billion dollars. world. This year’s contenders for the top prize were still widely viewed, with a combined total of $2.7 billion globally to date. But these impressive awards are considered outliers and contrast dramatically with the Oscars of yesteryear, where there hasn’t been much overlap between blockbusters and nominees.

“It’s a very strong year by any measure,” says David A. Gross of the film consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. “What’s impressive is the variety of films: different points of view, different languages, different cultures. “It is a positive reflection of the industry and the Academy.”

It’s worth noting that the assessment of the box office popularity of best picture nominees has changed since 2009, the year the category expanded from five to 10 contenders. The goal, said then-Academy president Sidney Ganis, was to recognize “fantastic films that often appear in other Oscar categories but have been excluded from the race for the top prize.” As a result, commercial offerings have been more regularly recognized alongside arthouse food.

Traditionally, Oscar-bait films are released in the final months of the year and enjoy a surge in ticket sales once nominations are announced. But Hollywood’s changing release schedule means that decorated films like “Oppenheimer” and “Barbie,” which opened last July, are no longer in theaters.

Streaming adds another aspect when evaluating the impact of Academy nominations. “Maestro,” directed by and starring Bradley Cooper as famed composer Leonard Bernstein, was distributed by Netflix, which does not bring its films to the big screen, making it impossible to gauge its popularity. Its strategy runs counter to that of rival Apple, which spent heavily to release Ridley Scott’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” and “Napoleon” in theaters.

After getting 11 nominations, Yorgos Lanthimos’ unconventional comedy “poor things” cracked the top 10 on the national charts with $3 million from 2,300 theaters, a 36% increase from its previous release. It has earned $30 million worldwide since the morning of the nominations and stands as one of the most successful arthouse films of the year, with $81 million worldwide so far.

“It will continue to do solid business between now and the Academy Awards,” predicts Gross.

This is followed on the indie front by Alexander Payne’s 1970s-set character study “The Holdovers” ($36 million), Justine Triet’s courtroom thriller “Anatomy of a Fall” ($26.8 million dollars) and Celine Song’s melancholic romantic drama “Past Lives” ($23.6 million). ). Breaking the $20 million mark is practically a triumph in this post-COVID box office era, where movies that appeal to older audiences have struggled to connect. There’s hope in Hollywood that some gold items during the March telecast will boost those numbers. “Barbenheimer” has little to gain (financially speaking), but the specialized sector could certainly use the attention.

“These awards are intended to ensure that arthouse films are seen and heard in theaters,” says box office analyst Jeff Bock of Exhibitor Relations. “It’s important with movies like ‘Poor Things’ and ‘The Zone of Interest,’ in terms of getting people in the seats. “If they didn’t get awards (nominations), you would blink and miss their releases.”

Not all arthouse contenders have become box office darlings. In these difficult times for independent cinema, Cord Jefferson’s acclaimed literary satire, “American Fiction,” managed to reach the $15 million mark worldwide. Jonathan Glazer’s haunting Holocaust portrait “The Hot Spot” ($9 million) isn’t exactly a big hit, either. A win for any of those independent films would place it as the lowest-grossing best film winner in history.

“Oppenheimer,” which experts have crowned this year’s favorite, would nevertheless be the highest-grossing winner in two decades, since 2003’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” ($1.2 billion). While Daniels’ zany comedy “Everything Everywhere All at Once” became the first independent film since the pandemic to gross $100 million globally, recent winners like Siân Heder’s sweeping comedy-drama “CODA” Chloé Zhao’s western “Nomadland” and Barry Jenkins’ scorching upcoming film. The adult story “Moonlight” had a smaller pop cultural footprint.

Although some of the most-watched ceremonies have historically featured blockbusters like “Titanic,” with an estimated 87.5 million viewers, box office dollars don’t necessarily correlate with the Academy Awards. either television broadcast ratings. But Oscar producers are encouraged that beloved and widely seen films will compete for Hollywood’s top honors. Ideally, audiences will be more motivated to tune in to a ceremony that celebrates movies they’ve heard about.

“In terms of potential streaming ratings, the ‘Barbenheimer’ phenomenon may inspire more than typical interest,” says Comscore senior analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “And,” he jokes, referring to the alleged snubs of Gerwig for best director and Margot Robbie for best actress, “a little controversy doesn’t hurt either.”

Box office tallies of the best picture nominees:

“American Fiction”
Opening weekend: $227,000 in seven theaters ($32,411 per screen)
Domestic box office: $16.4 million
Worldwide box office: $16.9 million

“Anatomy of a fall”
Opening weekend: $125,377 in five theaters ($25,075 per screen)
Domestic box office: $4.5 million
Worldwide box office: $26.8 million

Opening weekend: $162 million
Domestic box office: $636 million
World box office: 1,445 million dollars

“The remnants”
Opening weekend: $211,093 in six theaters ($35,182 per screen)
Domestic box office: $19.8 million
Worldwide box office: $36.1 million

“Flower Moon Killers”
Opening weekend: $32.2 million
Domestic box office: $67.6 million
Worldwide box office: $156.6 million

Opening weekend: N/A
Domestic box office: N/A
World Box Office: N/A

Opening weekend: $82.4 million in July
Domestic box office: $328 million.
Worldwide box office: $954 million

“Past Lives”
Opening weekend: $232,266 in four theaters ($58,066 per screen)
Domestic box office: $10.9 million
Worldwide box office: $23.6 million

“Poor things”
Opening weekend: $661,230 in nine theaters ($73,470 per screen)
Domestic box office: $30.3 million
Worldwide box office: $81.2 million

“The Zone of Interest”
Opening weekend: $129,934 in four theaters ($32,483 per screen)
Domestic box office: $5.4 million
World box office: $9 million

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