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SAG Awards: How have the nominees fared at the box office?

December 14, 2011 |  9:43 am

The Help is the top grossing film nominated for a SAG Awards
"The Help," the civil rights drama that earned the most SAG Award nominations Wednesday morning, is also the nominated film that has been most widely seen by moviegoers in theaters.

The movie -- which scored a best ensemble nomination as well as individual acting nods for Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain -- has sold about $170 million worth of tickets so far in the U.S. "Bridesmaids," which has grossed about as much as "The Help," earned two nominations. The other populist films in the race include "Moneyball," which has raked in around $75 million, and "Midnight in Paris," which has collected around $56 million.

But beyond those four films, the majority of the SAG nominees have only played to niche audiences at the box office. "The Artist," the silent black-and-white film that scored three nods -- the second-most of the day behind "The Help" -- has grossed just short of $1 million. The Weinstein Co. film, which opened in limited release on Thanksgiving, is currently playing in 16 theaters and will expand to 175 locations on Dec. 23. The movie will not reach a broader audience until late January, after the Academy Award nominations are announced.

"The Artist" is a front-runner for best picture at the Academy Awards, meaning it has the potential to become more than just an art-house hit. The only other independent film currently in release that seems to be crossing over into commercial territory is "The Descendants," the George Clooney drama that has already racked up over $24 million. The movie, for which Clooney and the ensemble cast were honored on Wednesday, is now in about 900 theaters and will expand nationwide in late January.

Nominated films little-seen by audiences that have already reached the end of their theatrical runs include "Warrior," ($13.7 million) "Beginners" ($5.8 million) and "A Better Life" ($1.8 million).

Meanwhile, some films that earned SAG nods have yet to hit theaters. Those include "Albert Nobbs," starring lead actress nominee Glenn Close and supporting actress nominee Janet McTeer, which will play in only a few locations next week. "We Need to Talk About Kevin" was released in one theater last weekend for a weeklong run to qualify it for Academy Awards consideration, but the film starring Tilda Swinton will not open wide until Jan. 27. Finally, the Margaret Thatcher biopic "The Iron Lady" will reach moviegoers nationwide on Jan 13.


SAG Awards: The complete list of nominees

SAG Awards: Who should win the ensemble honor? [Poll]

SAG Awards: 'The Help,' 'Bridesmaids' among cast nominees

--Amy Kaufman


Photo: Jessica Chastain, left, and Octavia Spencer star in "The Help." Credit: DreamWorks.

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