Split (Photo: Universal)

The 2017 Academy Award nominations were announced on Tuesday, and as usual, the lucky recipients reaped further reward at the box office. (This is why studios pour millions into “for your consideration” campaigns every year—not for the clout, but for what the clout buys.) Eight of the nine Best Picture nominees (all but Hell Or High Water) are still in theaters, and of that group, all but Hidden Figures, which is still doing strong business in wide release, saw a boost in patronage. The luckiest beneficiary of this post-nomination bump was Hacksaw Ridge, perhaps the most surprising addition to the Best Picture lineup; its more than 400-percent increase in ticket sales from last week to this one officially completes Mel Gibson’s showbiz redemption arc. Because what we really need right now is forgiveness for wealthy, bellowing bigots.

The Oscar love also helped La La Land and Hidden Figures cross the $100 million mark; only about $2 million separates the two films, which are fighting not just for the title of highest-grossing Best Picture nominee but also for the award itself. Picking up the Best Ensemble prize at last night’s Screen Actors Awards has positioned Hidden Figures as the likeliest spoiler, though Producer’s Guild victor La La Land is still safely the frontrunner. (One-time contender Moonlight is looking increasingly like this year’s Boyhood—the overwhelming critical favorite that will walk away with a supporting acting trophy and nothing else.)

Advertisement

While your parents and ours trekked out to see a bunch of movies they didn’t know existed before Tuesday, the rest of America continued to facilitate a different Hollywood comeback story: that of blockbuster maestro M. Night Shyamalan, whose entertainingly ludicrous (and ludicrously entertaining) Split topped the box-office for a second weekend in a row, besting expectations again with another $26.2 million. At $77 million, it’s just a little shy of becoming Shyamalan’s fifth film to cross the nine-digit mark. Split’s staying power almost certainly ate into the profits of the demographically similar Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, whose $13.85 million opening—the lowest of the series, a few million behind even the original’s bow back in 2002—all but assures that its title will actually remain honest, at least until the inevitable reboot.

Resident Evil landed at No. 4 on the charts, right behind Hidden Figures, which made $14 million in its sixth week of release. Meanwhile, the runner-up position went to A Dog’s Purpose ($18.3 million), proving that people’s desire to watch cute dogs be cute outweighs their outrage about what real dogs went through to make that entertainment option a reality. If controversy didn’t hurt this canine-themed tearjerker, it may actually have helped another film much lower on the charts: On the weekend of a horrific ban that might have kept its creator from attending the ceremony—were he not boycotting it now anyway—Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-nominated The Salesman made $71,000 on just three screens, for the week’s highest per-screen average. That’s a boost we can believe in.

For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.

Advertisement