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Quiz: The money behind Oscar 2013 nominees

February 23, 2013|By Amy Kaufman
  • Preparing for the Academy Awards, workers move decorations into place along Hollywood Boulevard in front of the Hollywood & Highland complex.
Preparing for the Academy Awards, workers move decorations into place… (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times )

Academy Awards nominations and Oscar statues can provide a big boost at the box office.

Some films benefit enormously. The domestic box-office take for 2009 best picture winner "Slumdog Millionaire" jumped to $141.3 million from $98.3 million after its Oscar Sunday moment in the limelight.

"The King's Speech" box-office take grew to $138 million from $114 million after it got the best picture award in 2011. "Million Dollar Baby" racked up $35 million of its $100-million total in the weeks after taking the 2005 best picture statue.

But that's not always the rule. "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" had already made $364 million at the domestic box office when it took Oscar gold in 2004 and added a scant $12 million afterward.

2007 best picture winner "The Departed" made only $579,000 of its $132-million total after the Oscars. And "Crash," a minor box-office success with $53 million when it took the best picture statue in 2006, added only $1.9 million before it ended its run.

This year, nine movies are up for the best picture honor. Many of them are still in theaters -- an important point, because how long a film has been in release has a lot to do with how much it benefits from Academy love. This year, the Oscar bounce could play a significant part in the box-office bottom line.

The best picture nominees at this year’s Academy Awards are “Lincoln,” “Django Unchained,” “Les Miserables,” “Argo,” “Life of Pi,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and “Amour.” Test your knowledge on how they stack up in terms of budget and box office.

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