This year’s crop of best picture nominees have received critical plaudits and trunkloads of awards. But that has not, for the most part, translated into massive ticket sales. Only “Get Out” and “Dunkirk” have topped $100 million at the domestic box office and could comfortably be labeled blockbusters. As it stands, this is the lowest-grossing crop of best picture contenders since 2011, a fact that should be sending shivers up the spine of ABC executives as they brace for the March 4 telecast.
“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.”
To be fair, most of these films were never designed to be commercial juggernauts. Seven of the nine nominees — a group that includes “The Shape of Water