The 95th Academy Awards are right around the corner, and all eyes are on the ceremony. The 10 films nominated for Best Picture are a diverse lineup, representing films from a variety of genres and tackling a wide array of themes. There appears to be something for everyone, which ABC is likely hoping will draw in viewers to the telecast after years of declining viewership.
Much has been written about how the lack of mainstream popular films has led to the decrease in Oscar viewership, and while this is true, even ones with major blockbusters like Black Panther and Joker were nominated for Best Picture, and it still wasn’t quite enough to draw in viewers. Yet the nominees this year might represent some of the biggest and most populist films that have been nominated in a long time. With that in mind let’s see how all the nominees stack up when comparing their box office results, and which one audiences are most likely to see.
10 All Quiet On The Western Front
All Quiet On The Western Front is at the bottom just by the sheer fact that there are no box office numbers to report on. The movie is a Netflix release and while it did have a limited run in theaters, Netflix does not report box office numbers and the theatrical run is mainly done to secure award nominations.
This means it is unclear how much All Quiet on the Western Front generated at the box office but its limited run makes it a safe bet to say it was the lowest-grossing movie. When it comes to streaming numbers though, it did very well on Netflix.
9 Women Talking
Women Talking opened in theaters in limited release on December 23, 2022, and unlike many of the other nominees, it never entered wide release, only playing in limited screens with the highest per screen count reaching 707 theaters in its sixth week of release. As of this writing, Women Talking has grossed $5 million domestically and $7 million worldwide, making it the lowest-grossing film among this year’s Best Picture nominees.
Tár is a two-and-a-half-hour psychological drama that has generated a lot of awards buzz and positive reviews, particularly around Cate Blanchett’s performance, which is the front-runner to win Best Actress. The film has earned $6 million domestically and $20 million worldwide. The film had a limited release before expanding into wide release for two weeks in October before it lost a good portion of its screens.
7 Triangle of Sadness
Triangle of Sadness premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2022 and won the Palme d’Or. It did not open in theaters until late October 2022. While it only made $4 million domestically which would place it below Women Talking and Tár to be the lowest-grossing Best Picture nominee domestically, its $24 million worldwide total puts it slightly above both films.
6 The Fabelmans
Steven Spielberg’s superb film The Fabelmans was a slight disappointment at the box office. A prime Thanksgiving weekend release date and one of the most celebrated filmmakers of all time seemed like it had the potential to be an awards’ contender that was also a mainstream hit.
Likely due to a combination of factors from some unclear marketing, adult dramas struggling at the box office, and the dark subject matter, The Fabelmans has grossed $17 million domestically and $37 million worldwide making it the lowest-grossing Steven Spielberg film to be nominated for Best Picture.
5 The Banshees of Inisherin
The Banshees of Inisherin is another interesting case where the worldwide total raises its spot on the list. The film grossed $10 million at the domestic box office which would normally put it below The Fabelmans, but the film did much better at the worldwide box office with a total of $46 million. This secures it as the fifth highest-grossing film among the Best Picture nominees of the year. From here, the numbers really make a jump.
4 Everything Everywhere All at Once
Everything Everywhere All at Once is the little movie that could. The movie opened in theaters the same weekend as the previous year’s Academy Awards and has been building momentum over the year and very much is the Best Picture frontrunner. A personal family drama and also a fun multiversal action epic, Everything Everywhere All At Once broke out with mainstream audiences and grossed $73 million domestically and $106 million worldwide making it a bona fide blockbuster and the highest-grossing film released by A24.
Elvis is one of those rare films that managed to be a big summer blockbuster without the conventional hallmarks associated with it, and also a major awards contender with Austin Butler one of the frontrunners for Best Actor. Being the biopic of one of the biggest icons in music is certainly a sell for audiences, and Elvis earned $151 million domestically and $287 million worldwide. In any other year, Elvis would be the big blockbuster film that was nominated for Best Picture, but here it is only number three.
2 Top Gun: Maverick
Top Gun: Maverick was the movie event of 2022 and one of the most talked about. Long delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Top Gun: Maverick finally opened in theaters on May 27, 2022, was a critical darling and a box-office sensation where it stayed in the box office top ten for twenty-one weeks. The film grossed $718 million domestically, making it the fifth highest-grossing movie of all time at the domestic box office.
In addition, the film earned $1.4 billion at the worldwide box office, where it is the 12th highest-grossing film of all time. Top Gun: Maverick is one of the biggest movies in the world and is nominated for Best Picture, which feels like an anomaly. The wilder anomaly is that there was a film bigger than Top Gun: Maverick and it is also nominated for Best Picture.e
1 Avatar: The Way of Water
A sequel to the highest-grossing film of all time and a previous Best Picture nominee, Avatar: The Way of Water is the highest-grossing film nominated for Best Picture at the 95th Academy Awards. Like a lot of the films on this list, it is the worldwide box office that is the key here. Avatar: The Way of Water has grossed as of this writing $671 million domestically, which would actually put it below Top Gun: Maverick.
Yet Avatar: The Way of Water had a much larger international box office which actually accounts for 70% of its total. Combining domestic and international box office, Avatar: The Way of Water has grossed $2.28 billion at the worldwide box office, making it the third highest-grossing movie of all time worldwide unadjusted for inflation.