In 2019, the domestic box office brought in roughly $11.32 billion – which amounts to the third highest-grossing year in history, according to the IMDbPro-powered ticket sales measuring company Box Office Mojo. This record number was achieved in part by The Walt Disney Company's hits like "Avengers: Endgame," "The Lion King" and "Frozen 2," but not a single one of these films were nominated for a Best Picture at the 92nd annual Academy Awards.
Continue Reading Below
Instead, the Academy has sided with films that pushed innovation in style over box office powerhouses. This can be seen in some of this year's nominees that are below a $50 million threshold, including front-runners "Parasite" and "Jojo Rabbit."
With box office numbers aggregated from Box Office Mojo, FOX Business ranked the Best Picture nominees by domestic gross revenue. The two nominated films produced by Netflix, "Marriage Story" and "The Irishman," could not be accurately ranked due to lacking ticket sale data for domestic releases. However, Box Office Mojo does report on the two films' international ticket sales.
9. Marriage Story
Domestic box office: No figures available
Netflix is still very new to the theatrical release game, but this hasn't stopped the streaming company from earning Best Picture nominations. The media company's star-driven romantic comedy and drama, "Marriage Story," features Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson – who play a turbulent divorcing couple. Figures aren't available for the film's domestic ranking since Netflix does not readily release this information, but its performance was good enough to catch the Academy's attention.
The film reportedly earned $323,382 for its international theatrical release, according to Box Office Mojo.
8. The Irishman
Domestic box office: No figures available
Netflix's "The Irishman" was an instant hit thanks to its highly accomplished starring cast, which includes Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. The Martin Scorsese directed film follows the story of Frank Sheeran, a reflective former labor union high official and hitman who play a role in the disappearance of his friend Jimmy Hoffa, a former president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Again, Netflix doesn't make its box office numbers available to the public, however, this film certainly made an impression on the Academy since it is based on the true-crime biography "I Heard You Paint Houses."
"The Irishman" reportedly earned $961,224 internationally, according to Box Office Mojo.
7. Jojo Rabbit
Domestic box office: $30.2 million
A "Nazi satire" film may not be everyone’s idea of an Oscar-worthy Best Picture nominee, but the Academy thinks Taika Waititi's "Jojo Rabbit" has a shot. The flick combines comedy and tragedy while it profiles a lonely, nationalistic German boy during World War II and follows how his life changes after finding a young Jewish girl hiding in the family attic. The zany-grim comedy racked up over $30.2 million at the box office as of Feb, 9, according to Box Office Mojo.
Domestic box office: $35.4 million
This South Korean hit was directed by Bong Joon Ho – the same director that brought the Chris Evans-led "Snowpiercer" in 2013. Six years later, and "Parasite" follows similar themes like class warfare with some of South Korea's most accomplished actors and actresses. The foreign film made $35.4 million in stateside box offices, but it has won 177 awards out of its 299 nominations at the time of publication, including a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.
Domestic box office: $132.5?million
The Academy has shown its affection for historical war films in the past, and "1917" is no different. This World War I movie chronicles the events of April 6, 1917, and how two British soldiers race to deliver a message across the enemy-filled Western Front to prevent the death of 1,600 men. The war epic made $132.5 million in the U.S. box office so far, according to Box Office Mojo.
4. Little Women
Domestic box office: $102.6?million
Based on the 1868 novel by Louisa May Alcott, "Little Women," follows the author’s alter ego Jo March while she reflects on her fictionalized life alongside her three sisters. The coming of age tale features top-billing starlets Saoirse Ronan and Emma Watson as well as acting newcomers Florence Pugh and Eliza Scanlen. As the only film with four female leads nominated for Best Picture, "Little Women" surpassed the $100 million box office threshold on Feb. 5, according to Box Office Mojo's estimates.
3. Ford v Ferrari
Domestic box office: $116.3?million
Unlike "1917" and "Little Women," which surpassed $100 million in 2020 after a Christmas Day release, "Ford v Ferrari" was able to notch its $100 million before the end of 2019 thanks to its month and a half headstart. Moviegoers flocked to theaters to see this biographic action-drama starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale. The film's story follows the journey of American car designer Carroll Shelby (Damon) and Ken Miles (Bale) as they push the auto industry and Ford forward while they battle corporate interference and competition in 1966. This flick raked in $116.3 million in the U.S. box office.
2. Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood
Domestic box office: $142.4?million
Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" snagged second place as the highest-grossing film nominated for Best Picture. The comedy-drama has made $142.4 million thus far, according to Box Office Mojo, and stars A-listers Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie. The film follows a faded stunt double (Pitt) and television actor (DiCaprio) in 1969, Hollywood’s Golden Age. The duo tries to reclaim fame, however, the industry is much different than they remembered.
Domestic box office: $335?million
Regardless of which movie wins the award for Best Picture, director Todd Phillips and Warner Brothers will still get to celebrate the crime-drama thriller, "Joker." The comic book-inspired flick, which is still in theaters, raked in a little over $335 million in the U.S. box office and earned 67 awards at the time of publication, including a Golden Globe for Best Original Score and Joaquin Phoenix's Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama. The indie-style film made its $55 million budget back six times over.
With the exception of the two Netflix films, seven out of the nine Best Picture nominees are still in theaters as a final push to cash in on Oscar notoriety, so ticket sales may fluctuate from Box Office Mojo's current numbers. For the sake of this report, FOX Business included ticket sale estimates leading up to Feb. 9.