Oscar gold fails to translate to cash this time

“We still have a movie out there that’s in release, and we want to get people to see it,” `’Descendants” producer Jim Burke said on nominations morning. “Frankly, these nominations help in that cause. We make what we call human films, and it requires word of mouth and people telling others to see it and critical response and audience reaction. It all helps. It all helps a lot.”

The silent film “The Artist,” which has 10 nominations and is favored to win best picture, would be one of the lowest-grossing winners ever, with $28.1 million through last weekend. The Oscar attention certainly has helped, though. A bit more than half of its box-office cash has come in since the nominations.

Martin Scorsese’s Paris adventure “Hugo,” which leads with 11 nominations, has had a so-so commercial run, padding its domestic dollars to $67.3 million, up $11.4 million since nominations day. Yet it has a timeless appeal that could keep it alive on video for the long haul.

“It seems to be a picture that plays to the entire family and plays for different ages,” Scorsese said. “It might have a life more than a year or two. Maybe in the future people will still see it and get more out of it as they grow older.”

That’s a key purpose of the Oscars _ calling attention to films that deserve to live on for years to come, rather than those that put up big numbers over opening weekend.

Oscar attention can make all the difference for tiny films such as the Irish drama “Albert Nobbs,” which went into general release the weekend after the nominations and has pulled in $2.4 million since, largely on the strength of acting honors for Glenn Close and Janet McTeer.

“We did this little film for love and almost no money, and now we’re here walking up red carpets,” McTeer said. “It means that more people are likely to see the film. When you’ve done a film for the love of the beast, it’s very, very exciting. It’s wonderful that more people might go and see it. That’s why we do it, isn’t it?”


Associated Press Entertainment Writers Derrik J. Lang and Anthony McCartney contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks