'The King's Speech's' post-Oscar bump doesn't take box office crown
"The King's Speech" was the reigning champion at the Oscars this year, but when it comes to award-winning films at the box office, the film doesn't take the crown.
On the weekend following the Academy Awards, its 15th week in theaters, the best picture winner dropped a modest 11%, taking in a solid $6.5 million and bringing its domestic tally to $123.8 million. Though the film has certainly sold an impressive number of tickets for a low-budget independent movie, previous best picture winners still in wide release have seen bigger post-Oscar boosts.
In 2009, "Slumdog Millionaire" had a 43% increase following the telecast, raking in an additional $12 million in its 15th week in release. It ultimately added $42.9 million to its total after the awards show, ending up with $141.3 million. In 2005, Clint Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby" took in $8.1 million the weekend after its Oscar win. "Chicago" grossed $7.2 million on the weekend following its 2003 win.
All of those films were playing at more than 2,000 locations nationwide. "The King's Speech" is currently being shown in 2,204 theaters. The only comparable best picture winner it fared better than in the last decade was "No Country for Old Men" in 2008. That film was in 2,037 theaters after the awards but only grossed $4.1 million on post-Oscar weekend.
In the coming months, however, the Weinstein Co. is slated to release a PG-13-rated version of "The King's Speech," which could lure a broader swath of moviegoers to theaters.
-- Amy Kaufman
Photo: Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush star in "The King's Speech." Credit: The Weinstein Co.