February 6, 2023 10:00 a.m.
The 2023 Oscar nominations for Best Picture are in, and of the critically acclaimed movies on the list, a few still haven’t made a profit. Among them is director Sarah Polley’s drama “Women Talking,” which earned just $2.4 million on an estimated production budget of $135 million. Other box office hits on the list include Stephen Speilberg’s coming-of-age film The Fabelmans and Todd Field’s psychodrama Tár. (Here are the 25 major directors with the most box office bombs.)
These films are still being released, so they could make at least a little more money. However, this does not apply to older films. Despite star-studded castings, great cinematography, and plenty of accolades, some Oscar-nominated movies just didn’t pay off. To identify Best Picture nominees who never turned a profit, 24/7 Tempo looked at production budget and box office data from The Numbers, an online movie database run by Nash Information Services. . Films nominated for the Best Picture Oscar were ranked based on the ratio of production budget ROI to worldwide box office. Data is not adjusted for inflation. Director and actor information comes from IMDb, an online movie and TV database from Amazon.
While some of the films on this list, including Ron Howard’s Frost/Nixon and David Lean’s A Passage to India, nearly broke even, one film recouped less than a quarter of its budget. “CODA,” a Sundance favorite for which Apple paid a record $25 million, returned $0.22 per dollar at the box office.
Click here to learn more about the top 9 Oscar nominees who lost money
Some of the films have received several awards including Oscars, Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards. Others were included in the American Film Institute’s picks for Best Picture of the Year upon release. (See Best of the Best – Best Picture Oscars.)
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