Saturday, February 23, 2013

Visual Effects, Oscars and Box Office

Just like last year, I thought it would be interesting to see a breakdown of the average box office earnings of each of this year's 85th Academy Award nominees, per category.

And, just like last year, it is completely lopsided.  Here is this year's chart, indicating the average domestic and international box office take of the nominees for each category, as of February 5, 2013.  Click here for a larger version of the chart.

The average Oscar nominee for visual effects earned $763M (up from $662M last year).  By comparison, the average nominee for Best Picture this year earned $202M, which is a particularly strong box office year for Best Picture nominees.  Leading the pack in the visual effects race was "The Avengers" (which earned $1.5B), "The Hobbit 1" ($956) and "Life of Pi" ($548M).

The second highest grossing category is Best Music (Song) with an average of $503M box office earnings per nominee; the category was buoyed by hits like "Skyfall" ($1.1B),  "Life of Pi" ($548M) and "Ted" ($529M).

Again, this should surprise virtually no one.  I wrote all my caveats and explanations last year, so I won't rehash them here.  This only proves that in each major cinema discipline that the Academy chooses to reward with a statuette, the average box office take of 'the best' visual effects films far exceeds any other discipline's 'best' work.

I wrote this last year when I charted the box office averages for the 84th Academy Awards:
It also illustrates the sad state of the visual effects community. The average Oscar nominee for visual effects made over $662 million globally, and yet our industry has relatively little power in Hollywood.

This is still true, of course.

Showing my work; a CSV of the data is here.


Unknown said...

Is the implication that VFX nominees should be paying the FX studios a bigger slice? Can you get the same graph for profit margins on each film? That'd be interesting.

TylerMirage said...

Interesting. Nice to be able to put some numbers to this, rather than just saying "Um, uh, the SFX movies are the biggest movies!".