The 2020 Oscars are almost upon us, as tonight’s celebration of the best movies at the box office in 2019 will eventually reveal the latest winner to claim the Academy Award for Best Picture. Of course, while most studios are probably prepared to take a financial bath in the name of such a prestigious honor, it still wouldn’t hurt for the nine nominated films to make some money for the accounting department’s troubles.
Out of curiosity, we took the nine Best Picture nominees and, in an exercise of comparative superiority, ranked them by their worldwide grosses to date. While some of these movies are still in theaters (and the figures listed are as of Friday, February 7), this is where the order currently stands.
Those results are sealed in their own metaphorical envelopes, even though their contents are known to the world. But, we didn’t gather together here for no good reason, so let’s open the results together, shall we? Here now are the 2020 Best Picture nominees, ranked from lowest grossing to highest.
#9. Marriage Story
Global Box Office: $2,300,000 (Estimated)
Marriage Story is one of two movies in the 2020 Oscars crop that is a bit hard to peg with an exact figure in terms of box office grosses. We say this because thanks to the film being a Netfilx-distributed title, theatrical release is pretty limited, which is strike one for any sort of total accuracy.
Still, without Netflix releasing its numbers for North American theatrical release, and the limited release in international territories bringing in what it did, Marriage Story is at the bottom of the best picture nominee pile in terms of its settlement with moviegoers. Though who knows what the planned Chinese theatrical release will do for those numbers, should it still take place as planned, in the midst of the Coronavirus crisis.
#8. The Irishman
Global Box Office: $8,000,000 (Estimated)
On a similar scale to Marriage Story, director Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman was put into a limited release in North America, due to continuing disagreement between Netflix and major theatrical exhibition chains. Though even with that particular stumbling block, there was a substantial gain to be had over its streaming service sibling.
Many independent theaters, as well as a month long exclusive run at New York’s Belasco Theatre, helped The Irishman bringing a rather impressive sum, on top of some interesting first week viewership numbers on their native platform. But again, this is based off of an estimate, as Netflix has not released the figures for how much this film made at this time.
#7. Jojo Rabbit
Global Box Office: $65,465,404
Moving into the lowest ranking wide release competitor, writer/director Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit took in the lowest amount of money for a widely released 2020 Best Picture nominee. This end result ended up performing in favor of the international audience, as the split that makes up the $64.5 million result is slightly higher in that particular column.
Grossing roughly $28.6 million domestically and $36.9 million internationally, Jojo Rabbit started modestly in a mid-October limited release platform on the domestic front. By time the film started its wide release strategy, there was definitely a buzz, but the film only ever cracked into the top 10 a handful of times.
Global Box Office: $163,119,346
Examining the balance between domestic and international grosses is going to be particularly interesting in some cases when discussing 2020’s Oscar nominees for Best Picture. One case in point is co-writer/director Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite, which performed modestly in domestic theaters, but cleaned up around the world.
Out of the total $163.1 million, only $33.2 million came from the U.S. The rest of the phenomenal result for this hotly buzzed candidate to upset the Best Picture race came from the foreign market, which brought in over 10 times the film’s budget.
#5. Little Women
Global Box Office: $164,616,717
From the word go, writer/director Greta Gerwig’s Little Women has been a box office assassin. Delivering consistently fantastic results, the film actually skipped a limited release platform and started out as a wide release.
What’s even more impressive is that Little Women is one of those cases where the domestic box office outweighs the international figures. Seeing as the film has recently crossed the $100 million mark it was predicted to clear earlier this week, the $64.6 million brought in internationally is not too far behind, but distant enough for this to be a bit of a surprise.
#4. Ford v. Ferrari
Global Box Office: $222,197,462
No matter if you call it Ford v. Ferrari, like those in the US do, or Le Mans ’66, like most of the rest of the world, director James Mangold’s racing biopic has been hell on wheels. Though if you want to compare the finish line results on those same dividing lines, the results aren’t too far off.
With the domestic tally weighing in at $115.6 million and the international result clocked at a solid $106.9 million, those numbers have a variance around $8.7 million between the two. Thanks to this real life story of racing superiority and love of sport, it looks like the box office has found something the world can agree on once again.
Global Box Office: $253,119,104
As far as the Best Picture nominees for 2020 are concerned, the World War I epic 1917 is sitting pretty as the odds on favorite for who will take home the Academy Award for Best Picture. Co-writer/director Sam Mendes’ vision of a real time fight to the front has impressed critics and audiences, and did so with a pretty impressive showing.
Considering the film opened in limited release on Christmas day, and went into wide release on January 10, the fact that it’s at a cumulative total of $253.1 million so far is something pretty special. It’s the result of another pretty close horse race between domestic an international box office, with $122.5 million coming from the domestic side and the international portion giving $130.6 million to the cause.
#2. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Global Box Office: $373,967,035
While writer/director Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood may have shown the fortunes of Leonardo DiCaprio’s actor/bon vivant Rick Dalton on the decline, the film itself was met with some pretty warm results upon its summer release. In fact, those extra months may have helped propel it to the runner up spot of this year’s Oscar nominees.
$142.1 million came in from the domestic grosses, with $231.8 million roaming in from overseas, which probably explains part of why Once Upon A Time In Hollywood did so well at the Golden Globes this past January. But have domestic audiences and professionals noticed the film enough to make it a winner at The Oscars? We’re ready to make some frozen margaritas and find out ourselves.
Global Box Office: $1,071,869,171
Out of this year’s Best Picture nominees, there was one winner at the box office that cleared the rest of the competition by leaps and bounds. While it may have started out as a joke to some, co-writer/director Todd Phillips and Warner Bros quickly proved that the Joker was no laughing matter in terms of box office firepower.
Not only was the $335.1 million domestic haul and its complementary $736.8 million result of Joker’s box office punchline enough to make it the most profitable comic book movie of all time, it was also what made the DC Comics anti-hero picture the highest grossing R-rated film of all time. Beating out Deadpool 2 for those particular honors, it was enough to make everyone sit up and take notice.
The box office results of 2020's Best Picture nominees tells one story, but what will the narrative unfolding during tonight's Oscars look like? There's only one way to find out, and that's by watching the 92nd Annual Academy Awards, which start tonight at 8 PM ET on ABC!