Oscars 2015, theatrical distribution: facts and figures

As the D-Day for Hollywood’s Awards Season is approaching, it is worthy taking a look at the Best Picture nominees’ theatrical distribution facts and figures, playing a little bit with the numbers.

All in all, the overall worldwide theatrical gross box office for the eight candidates was more than $1 billion, with each release falling within the wide $11 to $397 million range and $125M on average ($99M if we strip out the out the outliers American Sniper and Whiplash from the analysis) against production budgets of $3.3 to $58.8 million, $165.1 million in total and $20.6 on average.

The highest grossing film is American Sniper with $396 million and counting, whereas The Theory of Everything scored the highest percentage in foreign sales with 66%. Clint Eastwood’s latest film also had the best average per screen at its wide opening weekend, an impressive $25,111, despite being released to 3,555 theaters.

In terms of ROI (Return On Investment) for each project regardless of the investor, and therefore considering the initial investment (production budget) and the gross box office, Boyhood leads the group with a terrific 11x given the small production budget of $4M (estimated) against theatrical worldwide sales of more than $44 million. All in all, moviegoers paid $6 for each dollar invested by the producers for the eight Oscar nominees.

US-OSCARS-VANITY FAIR

American Sniper

Premiere: AFI Fest, 11 Nov 2014

US Distributor: Warner Bros | Wide Opening w-e: Jan 16, 3,555 theaters, $25,111 avg

Domestic Gross: $310M | Foreign Gross: $87M (21.8%) | Prod Budget: $58.8M (ROI 6.7x)

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Premiere: Venice Film Festival, 27 Aug 2014

US Distributor: Fox Searchlight | Wide Opening w-e: Nov 14, 857 theaters, $2,884 avg

Domestic Gross: $37M | Foreign Gross: $36M (49.2%) | Prod Budget: $18M (ROI 4x)

Boyhood

Premiere: Sundance Film Festival, 19 Jan 2014

US Distributor: IFC | Wide Opening w-e: Aug 15, 771 theaters, $2,584 avg

Domestic Gross: $25M | Foreign Gross: $19M (43.1%) | Prod Budget: $4M (ROI 11x)

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Premiere: Berlin International Film Festival, 6 Feb 2014

US Distributor: Fox Searchlight | Wide Opening w-e: Mar 28, 977 theaters, $8,741 avg

Domestic Gross: $59M | Foreign Gross: $115M (66.2%) | Prod Budget: $31M (ROI 5.6x)

The Imitation Game

Premiere: Telluride Film Festival, 29 Aug 2014

US Distributor: The Weinstein Company | Wide Opening w-e: Dec 25, 747 theaters, $10,619 avg

Domestic Gross: $81M | Foreign Gross: $77M (48.7%) | Prod Budget: $15M (ROI 10.5x)

Selma

Premiere: AFI Fest, 11 Nov 2014

US Distributor: Paramount | Wide Opening w-e: Jan 9, 2,179 theaters, $5,189 avg

Domestic Gross: $49M | Foreign Gross: N/A (0.0%) | Prod Budget: $20M (ROI 2.4x)

The Theory of Everything

Premiere: Toronto International Film Festival, 7 Sep 2014

US Distributor: Focus Features | Wide Opening w-e: Nov 26, 802 theaters, $6,248 avg

Domestic Gross: $33M | Foreign Gross: $65M (66%) | Prod Budget: $15M (ROI 6.6x)

Whiplash

Premiere: Sundance Film Festival, 16 Jan 2014

US Distributor: Sony Classics | Wide Opening w-e: Nov 14, 419 theaters, $1,718 avg

Domestic Gross: $10M | Foreign Gross: $1M (7.9%) | Prod Budget: $3.3M (ROI 3.4x)

– – –

Sources: IMDb.com, BoxOfficeMojo.com, TheNumbers.com

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