What does earning a bestpicture Oscar nomination mean? Here are grosses, after the Oscars, for the nine films nominated: “La La Land” benefited the most (thanks to best actress Emma Stone and best director Damien Chazelle’s wins), vaulting $28 million to $397 million. “Hidden Figures” won no big awards, but still climbed $23 million to $195 million.
“Moonlight’s” best picture and Mahershala Ali’s supporting-actor win afforded it a $16 million surge to $42 million. “Lion,” with best supporting nods for Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman, saw a $14 million boost to $103 million. “Hacksaw Ridge,” with Andrew Garfield and director Mel Gibson’s nominations, had a bump of $11 million to $175 million. “Manchester by the Sea,” despite Casey Affleck’s best actor and director Kenneth Lonergan’s original screenplay wins, rose only $8 million to $67 million, and Viola Davis’ supporting actress win didn’t help “Fences” beyond a $2.5 million rise to $61 million.
“Arrival” and “Hell and High Water” (with Jeff Bridges supporting actor nomination), are out of theatres but had their DVD and Blu-Ray sales elevated from the attention. The real reason for having nine best-picture nominees instead of five is because it pays to advertise, and the Oscars have the biggest audience to do that!
*** Host Jimmy Kimmel, perpetuating his “fake news” feud with Matt Damon, claimed, on the Oscars, that Matt’s film “The Great Wall” was a flop. True, it cost $150 million to make and only earned $41 million in the U.S. and Canada, but it also made $279 million in China and other territories worldwide, for a total of $320 million.
*** “Feud: Bette & Joan,” the campy eight-part series on FX, takes certain liberties with what actually happened, which sometimes makes for better drama. I got this straight from Bette Davis, who explained how her feud with Joan Crawford began.
“MGM dropped Crawford’s contract in 1944 because they were going younger with their contract people, and she slithered over to see Jack Warner, at my studio, Warner Brothers, under the guise of giving her services free for “Hollywood Canteen,” the film John Garfield and I were making to benefit the Hollywood Canteen. She managed to talk Jack Warner into a four-picture deal. My people, in the script department, always tipped me off about books bought for filming, and when I asked Jack about “Mildred Pierce,” he told me he’d promised it to Crawford. I wasn’t thrilled and was less thrilled when she won an Oscar for it.”
We’ll have more on their famous “Feud,” next time. And you thought “Family Feud” was fun!