This weekend, the best and worst of 2010 in film will be categorically determined (right...) by the Academy and Golden Raspberry Awards, respectively. And while statues are nice, everyone knows that money guides filmmaking to a much greater degree than accolades. So we were wondering -- does the movie-going public care whether they are seeing one of the best movies of the year or one of the worst? We compared some box office numbers, and found a somewhat surprising result.
There are ten movies nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. In order by domestic box office results, they are:
Toy Story 3 $415 million Inception $292.6 million True Grit $164.6 million The King's Speech $104.8 million Black Swan $101.8 million The Social Network $96.8 million The Fighter $88.3 million The Kids Are All Right $20.8 million 127 Hours $17.5 million Winter's Bone $6.4 million
The average domestic box office for a Best Picture nominee? $130.9 million
Now, the Worst Picture at the Golden Raspberry Awards. There are only five, and here they are, again in box office order:
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The Twilight Saga: Eclipse $300.5 million The Last Airbender $131.8 million Sex and the City 2 $95.3 million The Bounty Hunter $67.1 million Vampires Suck $36.7 million
The average domestic box office for a Worst Picture nominee? $126.3 million
So they're almost exactly the same. What's more, so are the foreign box office numbers: Best Picture nominees averaged $168.4 million abroad, and Worst Picture nominees averaged $177.3 million. We find this surprising -- We actually thought the Worst Picture movies would have done better at the box office, under the assumption that the people making them had expressly shot for mass appeal at the expense of quality.
It is true that the Best Picture numbers are skewed by Toy Story 3, which was the top-grossing movie of any kind in 2010 and has made over a billion dollars worldwide. On the other hand, the Twilight movie was the fourth-highest grossing movie of the year and skews the Worst Picture numbers a bit.