Oscars Spotlight: Best Picture Nominees at the Box Office

by IMDb-Editors | last updated - 21 Feb 2017

This year's Best Picture nominees have earned more than $600 million at the domestic box office as of Feb. 13, according to Box Office Mojo. Here’s a look at each title. — Michael Rosser

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Mahershala Ali and Alex R. Hibbert in Moonlight (2016)

Moonlight - $20.4 million

Moonlight was always going to face challenges at the box office, being the story of a young black man who struggles with bullies and his sexuality, with no big stars to carry the film and an up-and-coming writer/director at the helm. But despite sitting at the bottom of the box office in terms of Best Picture nominees, the sheer strength of the film has propelled it to glory during awards season and the $5 million production has topped the $20 million mark.

It is perhaps interesting to note that this is double the amount former Best Picture nominee Whiplash had taken by this time in 2015. Two years later, Whiplash director Damien Chazelle is behind frontrunner and box office hit La La Land. Moonlight director Barry Jenkins, we’ve got our eye on you.

Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham in Hell or High Water (2016)

Hell or High Water - $27 million

Modern-day Western Hell or High Water was a bone-fide indie hit when it was released last summer. It took $8.6 million in its first three weekends, from Aug. 12, and was the second-highest grossing specialty film of the summer, behind period comedy Love & Friendship. The film, starring Jeff Bridges as a lawman in pursuit of bank robber brothers played by Ben Foster and Chris Pine, boosted its theater numbers on Sept. 2 and quickly topped $20 million.

Dev Patel in Lion (2016)

Lion - $30.6 million

Moving drama Lion has had a steady release, beginning with a limited run on Thanksgiving weekend that saw it top the specialty box office with $130,000, before moving into more theaters over the Christmas weekend and posting healthy increases week after week.

The true story, starring Dev Patel as a young man in Australia who searches for his long lost family in India using Google Earth, expanded to more than 1,400 theaters on Feb. 3 and topped the $25 million mark. It has already made nearly $14 million since the Oscar nominations were announced on Jan. 24 – a figure that will continue to rise following BAFTA wins for Patel and the screenplay.

Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams in Manchester by the Sea (2016)

Manchester by the Sea - $45.1 million

Of all the Best Picture nominees, Manchester by the Sea has had the longest journey. First screened to critical acclaim at Sundance Film Festival in January 2016, its release was held for nearly a year to position it during awards season. Following a limited release on Nov. 18, it expanded wider to more than 1,200 theaters a month later and had grossed close to $30 million by the end of the year.

The film, starring Casey Affleck as a troubled man who returns to his home town following the death of his brother, has enjoyed a box office bump of $5.1 million since the Oscar nominations on Jan. 24 and has topped $45 million after BAFTA wins for Affleck and director Kenneth Lonergan for his screenplay.

Denzel Washington and Viola Davis in Fences (2016)

Fences - $54 million

Denzel Washington's drama Fences posted an impressive $6.7 million opening – the third-biggest Christmas day gross of the year – after being on limited release for 10 days. The August Wilson adaptation, co-starring Viola Davis who won the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress, has gone on to take $54 million in the U.S. to date, which is a great result for the $24m production.

Andrew Garfield and Luke Bracey in Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

Hacksaw Ridge - $66.6 million

The first film directed by Mel Gibson in a decade could not measure up to his previous hits, but did outpace predictions with takings of $15.2 million on its opening weekend of Nov. 4. The WWII story, in which Andrew Garfield plays real-life hero Desmond Doss, has since managed to top $66 million. But it pales in comparison to war movie and previous Best Picture nominee American Sniper, which took a staggering $350 million at the box office in 2015.

Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner in Arrival (2016)

Arrival - $99.4 million

Sci-fi thriller Arrival was released on a wave of rave reviews on Nov. 11 and debuted with $24 million – considerably more than pre-release estimates of $16 million. Strong word-of-mouth ensured takings remained healthy in subsequent weeks and it is close to topping the $100 million mark. This make Arrival the third highest grossing title of this year’s Best Picture nominees, behind La La Land and leader Hidden Figures.

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in La La Land (2016)

La La Land - $126.5 million

Feelgood musical La La Land scored 14 Oscar nominations, equaling a record set by All About Eve and Titanic, and it has the box office to match.

After grossing $881,000 from five theaters in New York and LA on its opening weekend of Dec. 9-11, it steadily expanded into more venues. After it went wide, to more than 3,000 theaters on Jan. 27, it comfortably topped the $100 million mark.

The film has made close to $35 million since the Oscar nominations on Jan. 24, with its record-tying status as well as success at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs boosting its profile and reputation.

Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe in Hidden Figures (2016)

Hidden Figures - $132.2 million

Heartwarming biopic Hidden Figures holds the box office crown of Best Picture nominees, despite being out in the U.S. for two weeks less than Oscar frontrunner La La Land.

The film, about three African-American mathematicians who played key roles during the early years of NASA, arrived in a blaze of glory on Jan. 6, taking $22.8 million and unseating Rogue One: A Star Wars Story from the top spot. It also topped the following weekend, taking $20.9 million across MLK weekend.

In addition, Hidden Figures has recorded the biggest box office of all the nominees following the Oscars announcement, taking more than $45 million since Jan. 24.