Even when there isn't a huge snaffu a la La La Land and Moonlight at the 2016 Oscars, the coveted Best Picture Award has always one of the most talked about awards on Oscars night. People wait all night to find out which of the eight nominated films will take home the biggest title and this year’s ceremony on February 24 will not be an exception, especially considering that the list includes a few blockbusters. But just how varied are 2019 Best Picture nominees when it comes to box office? Pretty all over the place, tbh.
In recent years, Best Picture nominees were not particularly known for being the biggest films of the year. But with blockbuster films like Black Panther and A Star Is Born nominated this year, that's changed. Vox reported that, all together, the Best Picture nominees collected over $1.2 billion at the domestic box office. (It’s important to note that Roma isn’t included in this total because it is streaming on Netflix and the platform does not release exact box office numbers.) However, WalletHub did calculate a gross sales amount for Roma, which we'll get to in a minute. Here's how each Best Picture nominee has already won (or lost) at the box office — without a trophy to boost them.
This Marvel flick is largely responsible for this year’s Best Picture Nominees appearing to be so financially successful thanks to its over $700 million in gross sales. Black Panther exceeded expectations and broke records when it was released, and though its recent return to theaters won't help Black Panther's box office sales (Disney isn't charging for tickets this time) its cull is beyond impressive. Money aside, Black Panther's nomination also cements it in Oscars history as the first superhero film to be nominated for Best Picture.
Spike Lee’s latest critically-acclaimed film, BlackKklansman, has Ballers star John David Washington leading the cast as the real-life Ron Stallworth who was the first Black detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department. Stallworth works to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan chapter with the help of his partner Flip (Adam Driver). Despite his impressive repertoire, Lee has surprisingly only been nominated for two Academy Awards and this nomination comes more than 30 years after his film Do The Right Thing was snubbed by the Academy. BlackKklasman is up for six Oscars, including Lee’s first Best Director nod.
Despite the controversies surrounding Bohemian Rhapsody, the biographical film is one of the most financially successful on this list. The movie tells the story of British rock band Queen and the lead singer Freddie Mercury, played by Rami Malek. Like Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody is still playing in theaters, so its gross also stands to increase after the awards. Still, Bohemian Rhapsody’s nominations and wins this award season was somewhat of a surprise considering it was not positively received by some critics.
Arguably the least talked about film on this list, The Favourite ties Roma with the most nominations at 10 each and has one of the lowest budgets, according to WalletHub, at $15 million. The Favourite is a period piece starring Emma Stone, Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Nicholas Hoult, and Joe Alwyn about two cousins competing to be the most beloved by Queen Anne. At the BAFTA Awards (basically the British Oscars), The Favourite won a whopping seven awards so it will interesting to see how many it can take home stateside.
Like Bohemian Rhapsody, Green Book has received some backlash for its nominations over the course of this award season. Although Mahershala Ali gives a great performance in the film as real-life Black classical musician, Don Shirley, many have questioned how true this biographical really is. Green Book did win the Golden Globe Award for best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy (if you're confused, join the club) so it is quite possible it could be crowned the Best Picture winner.
Roma: About $3.8 million
Tied for most nominations with The Favourite, Roma is set in 1970 and 1971 and is a semi-autobiographical story about a housekeeper. WalletHub estimates that Roma’s gross sales total over $3 million, but keep in mind that Netflix does not release official numbers for their films so it may not be accurate. Roma’s nomination marks Netflix’s first Best Picture nomination and also the first nomination for any streaming platform. It is the 10th foreign language film to be nominated for Best Picture. Star Yalitza Aparicio landed her first Oscar nomination and is also the first indigenous Best Actress contender.
Ahhh, A Star Is Born. Bradley Cooper might be embarrassed he wasn’t nominated for directing A Star Is Born, but his film certainly wasn’t overlooked by the Academy. It is the the third remake of the musical drama about a successful musician who falls in love with a young singer. It proved to a huge box office success and is currently still in theaters. A highly anticipated Oscars moment will be Cooper and Lady Gaga channeling their characters Jackson Maine and Ally to belt out Grammy-winning hit “Shallow.” The film has the distinction of being the longest movie in the category, clocking in at 136 minutes.
Vice might have the lowest Rotten Tomatoes score out of all the films on this list, but it undoubtedly wins for most shocking transformation. Christian Bale eerily resembles former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney in this biographical comedy about how Cheney became very powerful during George W. Bush’s presidency. Vice is up for eight awards, tied with A Star Is Born, including a Best Actor nomination for Bale. He might not win the award, but we hope he takes the stage just so we can be reminded of his British accent again.