Oscar Nominations 2015: Best picture nominees are worst performing at box office for 28 years

Joe Hall
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Boyhood was only the 100th highest-grossing film of 2014. (Source: Getty)
Look at the previous winners of the Academy Award for Best Picture and you’ll find a long list of box office sensations like Titanic and Forrest Gump, and big, broad canvas epics like Gladiator or Ben-Hur.
Look at the nominees for this year's award however, and you’ll find an eclectic collection of independent-minded and independently-produced films a world away from big budgets and ensemble casts.
The nature of this year’s Best Picture candidates is typified in the favourite for the role; Boyhood, a totally unique film shot over 12 years by indie king Richard Linklater, has been made the bookies’ choice.
In stark contrast to most years, none of the biggest box office hits from the last 12 months will be represented in the Best Picture category.
In fact, this year’s crop represents the worst performing nominees at the box office for 28 years.
The average box office of the eight nominated films before the announcement was made today was just $32m (£21.1m). Combined, they have raised $203.1m at the box office - 10 films made more on their own in 2014.
Not since 1987 - when Oliver Stone’s Platoon took home the award - has the financial clout of the nominated films been so small. Then the five films nominated averaged a box office of $23.9m ahead of their nomination.
Of course, the nominated movies can now expect to see an upswing in box office receipts now the tag “Academy Award nominee” can be proudly affixed to their name. Films are released by studios near the date of the award ceremony precisely for that reason - to pick up a nomination, generate buzz, watch profits rise. American Sniper and Birdman have had just a couple of weeks on wide release.
Yet films such as Boyhood and The Grand Budapest were released much earlier in 2014 and have had much longer to generate traction.

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