This post is by Omri Wallach from Visual Capitalist

Best Picture Oscar Winners vs. Box Office Hits

When Oppenheimer won the Academy Award for Best Picture at the 2024 ceremony, it joined a list of Best Picture Oscar winners as a box office behemoth, having earned $958.7 million at the 2023 box office. But as this data-driven exploration from Vizzu shows, the movie’s success is not par for the course. Over the past 30 years, there has been a complex relationship between Oscar accolades and box office performance.

Comparing Oscar Winners and Box Office Hits (1993–2023)

Using annual worldwide box office hauls from Box Office Mojo, Vizzu compared the earnings of Best Picture Oscar winners with those of the highest grossing movie of each year. At last year’s event, Everything Everywhere All at Once won six Oscars (including Best Picture) and earned $143.4 million globally. That’s a decent haul, but pales in comparison with Avatar: The Way of Water, which grossed more than $2.3 billion. As this table shows, more often than not, this divide between critical darling and commercial juggernaut has been the norm over since 1993:
Film YearBest Picture WinnerBox Office
Box Office
(Highest Grossing)
2022Everything Everywhere All at Once$143.4M$2,320.2M
2018Green Book$321.8M$2,048.4M
2017The Shape of Water$195.2M$1,332.5M
2014Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)$103.2M$1,104.1M
201312 (Read more…)