Oscar Best Picture nominees have highest total box office since 2010
The total box office gross for this year's Oscar Best Picture nominees is the highest in 13 years, led by "Avatar: The Way of Water" and "Top Gun: Maverick."
Why it matters: TV networks are struggling to validate the high price tag for award shows like the Oscars, which have been bleeding viewers amid criticism that it ignores the most popular movies.
- Although last year's Oscars rebounded from its nadir in 2021, the 16.6 million who watched in 2022 was still the show's second-smallest audience ever.
- This year, the two highest-grossing movies of 2022 are vying for the top prize, which could bring back some viewers.
Be smart: Driven by pandemic-era theater closures in 2020 and 2021, the majority of films that have been up for awards have not commanded huge audiences at the box office.
- Last year's Best Picture winner, "CODA," was the first to be wholly owned by a streaming company, Apple. The year prior, "Nomadland" was the first Best Picture winner to be exclusive to streaming.
- Outside of 2020, when Marvel's "Black Panther" was nominated, the average global box office haul for Best Picture nominees has been under $300 million over the past 10 years.
- This year's 10 nominees have an average theater gross of nearly $400 million.
What's next: The TV contracts for the Emmys, Grammys and Tonys all run through 2026, while the Oscars' current deal expires in 2028.
- Netflix's recent deal for the SAG Awards, which had aired for 25 years on cable, could be a look into the future of the award show industry.