Even if “Get Out” doesn’t win Best Picture at the Oscars on March 4, it is already the biggest winner among the nine nominees in terms of profitability based on production budgets. Jordan Peele made his horror satire for just under $5 million and it has taken in a whopping $255 million world wide.
Subtracting the production cost from the gross, and then dividing the remainder by that same production cost, yields a very rough estimate of the return on investment (ROI). The studio costs don’t account for every dollar spent as they don’t include marketing and Oscar campaigns while only about half of the takings end up back in the hands of the distributors. In the case of “Get Out,” the math works out as follows: $255 million gross – $5 million production cost = $250 million, which is then divided by that same $5 million production cost for a ROI with a factor of 50 or 5,000%
No other Academy Awards contender comes close to matching that gross-to-cost ratio. Of the other eight nominees, “Dunkirk” has taken in the most money worldwide, with a box office haul of just over $525 million. However, it cost in excess of $100 million to make, giving it a ROI of 4.25 (or 425%).
Four other films in the running for the top Academy Award have cracked the $100 million mark at the box office, including the two frontrunners for Best Picture. “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” cost $12 million to produce and has made $121 million to date for an ROI of 9.1 (910%) while “The Shape of Water” had a budget of $20 million and takings to date of $111 million for an ROI of 4.55 (455%). “Darkest Hour” was filmed for $30 million and has grossed $135 million (ROI: 3.5 or 350%) while “The Post” was put together for $50 million and has receipts of $137 million and counting (ROI: 1.75 or 175%).
“Lady Bird” had a production budget of $10 million and has raked in $53 million in its early roll-out worldwide (ROI: 4.3 or 430%). And “Call Me By Your Name” was made for a mere $4 million and took in $30 million (ROI: 6.5 or 650%).
The only film that cost more than it has made so far is the late release “Phantom Thread.” It’s reported budget was $35 million while its worldwide box office to date is $33 million.
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