Box office numbers don't always reflect the success of a film during awards season. In fact, many awards front-runners are often distributed in limited release at art house theaters across the U.S. before they ever hit the megaplex.
This year is no different. Here's a breakdown of the box office figures for the eight best picture nominees. Some of the films are only starting to be in wider release; others opened earlier this year.
In its limited release over the Christmas holiday weekend, "American Sniper" debuted to a stellar $240,212 from just four theaters in Los Angeles, New York and Dallas.
The Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow film, which cost about $58 million to make, has now made about $3.3 million in the U.S. and Canada. The film could add a whopping $50 million over the four-day weekend, according to people who have seen pre-release audience surveys.
Adapted from the autobiography of the same name, the Clint Eastwood-directed film is the real-life story of Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper), the Navy SEAL who was known as the most lethal sniper in American history.
Distributed by IFC Films, the Richard Linklater coming-of-age film was shot in a 12-year span. Since its July launch, the indie film has made about $24.3 million in the U.S. and Canada.
"The Imitation Game"
The Weinstein Co. film, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, has pulled in $42.8 million since opening in limited release in November.
In its first weekend, the four-day Thanksgiving break, it made $482,000 in just four theaters in New York and Los Angeles.
The film is based on Jane Hawking's memoir, "Travelling to Infinity: My Life With Stephen." It stars Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking and Felicity Jones as Hawking's wife, Jane Wilde.
"The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Wes Anderson's film, which nabbed best motion picture, musical or comedy at the Golden Globes, has had a strong box office run since its March release. In its first week, it brought in $800,000 from four theaters for a per-screen average of $200,000.
To date, it has made $59.1 million in the U.S. and Canada. It's the highest total for any Anderson film.
Released by Fox Searchlight, the film has made $26.6 million to date in the U.S. and Canada.
Sony Classics' "Whiplash," starring Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons, has made about $6.1 million in the U.S. and Canada. The film follows a domineering teacher (Simmons) as he drives aspiring jazz drummer (Teller) to the edge of sanity.
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