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Does box office performance matter at Oscars?

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  • Paul Sheehan
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    #197127

    After doing boffo business in limited release, “Steve Jobs” went wide and underperformed. 

    But does that matter in terms of its Oscar chances?

    As jahadda pointed out in the official thread (http://www.goldderby.com/forum/topics/view/7313/page:17)

    Did anyone really think it was going to be a huge box office hit? I have a feeling people want to see this film although the whole idea does not sound very cinematic so they are waiting for second run theatres or VOD.  

    He goes on to opine,

    Box office doesn’t matter much at the Oscars and I think voters will respond to it. The guilds will nominate it and I could see it receiving anywhere from 6-8 nominations.

    Do you agree?  

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    FilmGuy619
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    #197129

    I don’t think box office is the be all, end all for all contenders. But is does help. I have a feeling that if The Martain underperformed yet still scored with critics, it would still have a tough time getting traction since it would be a studio film that nobody is going to see which would hurt its ratings slightly.

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    AMG
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    #197130

    Great box office performance helps the not-adored Oscar season releases a lot, see American Sniper, potentially The Martian this year.

    Poorer performance from critically acclaimed films doesn’t hurt their chances all too much. If voters love a film that is held in high regard, I think they will still go for it.

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    Guest2014
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    #197131

    Steve Jobs was a terrific movie and should be nominated for BP no matter what.  The Walk as well.  Box office matters a lot to the membership that believes that no sci-foi movie, no matter how well it’s received by critics and fans, should even be considered for anything but the usual suspects; VFX, sound and art direction.  And it has been to the detriment of the very awards themselves.  The Oscars are little more than Indie Spirits II anymore.  Isn’t one MORE than enough?

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    Riley
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    #197132

    I think that the perception that a poor box office will hurt it has to do with bad buzz.  Controversy often hurts an Oscar campaign.

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    PJ Edwards
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    #197133

    It’s getting toxic reception. The bad box office is just a symptom of the films overall issues. Like I don’t know how you can say “everyone is still gonna line up and vote for it” when in trades it’s getting compared to Kutchers Jobs film.

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/steve-jobs-performing-par-ashton-836235

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    Tyler The Awesome Guy
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    #197134

    Look at the box office gross of The Hurt Locker and then come back to me. 

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    Eddy Q
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    #197135

    ^ But The Hurt Locker was never “meant” to be a hit. It didn’t build such a toxic reputation as a box office disappointment the way Steve Jobs has. Jobs was under a lot of pressure to do well, and it does not have any kind of underdog factor in its favour either. I’m not saying it won’t get nominated, but comparing it with other films with small box office doesn’t quite work.

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    Sasha
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    #197136

    ^ Everything that Eddy Q said. Steve Jobs didn’t actually underperform in box office, it flopped hard. It lost lots of money for Universal. They thought they had a box office hit with it and went full on with P&A. It’s a financial flop and it will cost it Oscar nominations.

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    manakamana
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    #197137

    I think box office is a lot less important now than it used to be, but if it’s reflective of general unenthusiasm and public disinterest then yeah it’s a problem.

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    ETPhoneHome
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    #197139

    I would hardly call Steve Jobs a box office bomb. It will probably break even when all is said and done, because it’s budget is reasonable enough. Compare it to Pan, which is the only true flop currently in theatres, and Steve Jobs isn’t even in the same league. It will get Oscar nominations, and probably do reasonably well on a theatrical re-release when that happens.

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    Atypical
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    #197140

    It depends on expectations. If a film was talked up to make 100 million+ with strong critical reviews and Oscar hopes that barely makes 20 million, yes, that’s a clear optics problem. If another film was only supposed to make 10 million and somehow breaks out to 20 million, then that’s a boon for them. Since I suspect that this annoying clickbait thread was made with the sole purpose to dump on “Steve Jobs” when it’s down, I’ll say that the poor box office does affect its potential Oscar nominations. If it had been a success, a similar trajectory of “The Social Network” with 8 nominations was perfectly gettable. Maybe that count slashes in half now, and maybe it’s all but out of the running for competitive wins. But with a re-release post Globes/Oscar nominations, I don’t see why the film can’t have a second life commercially, stay in the Oscar conversation, and eventually find its proper audience. It more than deserves to regardless.

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    KyleBailey
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    #197141

    This isn’t the 80’s anymore. Box office does not matter. If it did, Marvel would have owned Best Picture for the past near decade and they barely have any to their name. These are movies that adults are the target audience. Adults have jobs. They are the group of people that embrace Netflix the most not finding the time to go out to the theaters anymore. Things like Jobs, Our Brand is Crisis, and even Burnt will probably find a healthy life on DVD. Star factor isn’t going to drive an audience into a theater anymore. That only helps for your movie to be seen at some point. I bet many people will say “Hey a new Sandra Bullock movie let’s watch”. They aren’t going to run to a theater for a political screw ball comedy that takes place in Bolivia. They might watch it in the comfort of their own home. But the elephant in the room is Steve Jobs which was all over headlines for doing so well in limited released and then the smear campaign started flipping the script about how it is a bomb. This month of movies just shows how times are changing. Steve Jobs isn’t getting toxic reception. Tell me when 85% on Rotten Tomatoes is Toxic. The only toxic reception the movie is getting is from the people that are out to seek failure from Sorkin and Boyle. They’ll rise from the ashes come award season. Gone Girl was a box office hit, frontrunner for the Oscars, and wound up with a whooping 1 nomination. 

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    Jason Travis
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    #197142

    I think it matters sometimes.

    Would Sandra Bullock have won for The Blind Side if the movie had not made over $200 million domestically? I think not. Because of her star power and bankability (not to mention her earlier hit, The Proposal, the same year), she coasted to victory. I doubt she would have even been a Best Actress nominee- or her movie a best picture contender- had The Blind Side flopped.

    Look at Jennifer Aniston. Like Bullock, she’s a popular “America’s Sweetheart” (though mostly through TV). If Cake had made money, I think she would have snuck in last year. But it flopped, so she was ignored.

    On the other hand, artists like Streep, Mirren and Cotillard can get nominated for little-seen films BECAUSE their performance is just that good.

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    KyleBailey
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    #197143

    You can’t really bring Cake up in comparison to The Blind Side. The Blind Side opened in Nov/Dec. Cake didn’t even open until the end of January after the Oscar nominations were even announced. Plus you have to compare the subjects. There is a large audience that go to a theater for a movie about football. Those same people won’t come out for a movie about a woman suffering from a car accident 

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