Oscar Forecast: Oscar Nominations vs. Top-Grossing Films

With a little help from inflation and a lot of help from eager moviegoers, 2012 broke many records at the box office. For the first time, each of the ten highest-grossing films earned over $600 million. But don’t look for The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, or Skyfall (2012’s three billion-dollar hits) to take home the top prize at the 85th Academy Awards. As a matter of fact, none of the top ten earners received a Best Picture nomination.

This is the eighth time that this occurred, along with 1984, 2004-2008, and 2011. But it hasn’t always been this way: The Academy’s and the box office’s top choices used to match up quite frequently. In 1949, 1950, 1953, and 1962, all Best Picture nominees made the top ten. The most top-ten grossing movies to receive a Best Picture nomination in one year was seven in 1934.

The Best Picture winner made the top ten money-making list 14 years in a row between 1934 and 1947, the longest streak in history. There are even two pairs of back-to-back Best Picture winners which were also the highest-grossing film of the year: You Can’t Take It with You (1938) and Gone with the Wind (1939), along with My Fair Lady (1964) and The Sound of Music (1965).

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