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Oscar-Nominated Flicks Ride Buzz To Box Office Sales
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Oscar-Nominated Flicks Ride Buzz To Box Office Sales

Do Academy Award nominations impact the distribution and ticket sales of nominated movies? Nielsen EDI compared the number of theaters showing each movie and ticket sales before and after the nominations were announced on January 22 and found significant increases in most cases.

With the exception of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, each of the Best Film nominees saw triple-digit percentage increases in theater count after they were nominated. The increased distribution of these films also led to box office sales increases anywhere from 18% to 72% in the weeks following the nominations.

THEATER COUNT OF BEST FILM NOMINEES

RANK FILM BEFORE

NOMINATION

AFTER

NOMINATION

% CHANGE
1 FROST/NIXON 153 1099 618%
2 MILK 250 882 253%
3 THE READER 367 1002 173%
4 SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE 582 1415 143%
5 THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON 2223 2263 2%
source: The Nielsen Company 2009

BOX OFFICE SALES OF BEST FILM NOMINEES

RANK FILM 3 WEEKENDS BEFORE

NOMINATION

3 WEEKENDS AFTER

NOMINATION

% CHANGE
1 THE READER $4,268,323 $7,326,702 72%
2 FROST/NIXON $3,110,726 $5,197,785 67%
3 SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE $15,494,836 $25,505,612 65%
4 MILK $3,123,125 $3,690,247 18%
5 THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON $34,489,059 $11,932,358 -65%
source: The Nielsen Company 2009

Nielsen also found that impressive gross sales are not required for a film to be nominated in the top categories. For example, Frost/Nixon, in movie theaters for eleven weeks, earned only $17 million at the U.S. box office through February 16, while fellow nominee Benjamin Button pulled in close to $123 million since its December 25 release.

TOTAL GROSS SALES OF BEST FILM NOMINEES

RANK FILM OPEN DATE GROSS
1 THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON 12/25/2008 $122,573,294
2 SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE 11/12/2008 $88,101,863
3 MILK 11/26/2008 $26,748,699
4 THE READER 12/10/2008 $19,618,951
5 FROST/NIXON 12/5/2008 $16,561,626
source: The Nielsen Company 2009