Small films like “Foxcatcher,” “Whiplash” and “Wild” are positioned to cash in at the box office after winning Best Picture Oscar nominations Thursday, while blockbusters “Gone Girl” and “Interstellar” missed the cut.
With the Ben Affleck thriller and Christopher Nolan‘s space epic out of the running and hits “Unbroken” and “Out of the Woods” similarly snubbed, this year’s Best Picture class will be the weakest at the box office in several years. That matters, because the TV ratings for the Academy Awards go higher if more people have seen the spotlighted movies.
The war saga “American Sniper” is expected to debut at around $50 million in its nationwide expansion this weekend and is heading for $200 million domestically, but for now “The Imitation Game” is the top film in terms of earnings of those still in release with $42 million.
The Best Actor nomination for Benedict Cumberbatch will also help the Weinstein Company’s “Imitation Game.” It expanded nationwide just last weekend, as did Paramount’s civil rights drama “Selma,” another Best Picture nominee.
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” has rung up nearly $60 million since opening in March, but won’t be able to capitalize on its nomination because it’s already out on DVD.