The Academy Award nominations were announced a few weeks ago and while some of the films were box office smashes, others have collected more modest sums at theaters. Although nominee Toy Story 3 collected over $1 billion at the global box office, The King's Speech is actually the most profitable of all nominees – even though its gross is less than 10 percent of Toy Story's.
How is it possible for a movie like The King's Speech to rank first in profitability? Forbes combed through data on each film and took into account the budgets of each film and how much money they have made internationally during their theatrical runs. The 10 films nominated this year vary wildly from smashes like Inception, which raked in $824 million at the box office, and smaller films like Winter's Bone, which ended its run with just about $8 million, according to Box Office Mojo.
1. The King's Speech
The film is the front runner to win the Best Picture Oscar this year and also ranks as the most profitable of all nominated films. Budgeted at $15 million, the movie has collected $201 million and is still earning money since it was released in the U.S. over 13 weeks ago.
2. Black Swan
Natalie Portman has raked up myriad awards for her performance in the film, which cost only $13 million to make and has so far brought in $172 million at the box office.
3. The Kids Are All Right
Budgeted at a paltry $4 million, this independent film about a family in California grossed $29 million – a healthy 725% return on investment.
4. The Social Network
This was the movie everyone seemed to talk about last year; budgeted at $40 million, The Social Network has already won awards from critics and has a good chance of capturing the Best Picture Oscar. It made $221 million during its theatrical run.
5. Toy Story 3
The geniuses at Pixar have one of the longest streaks in Hollywood for making movies that are critically adored and box office smashes. The third entry in the 15 year old Toy Story franchise made $1 billion at global box office, but its $200 million budget bit into earnings. Nonetheless, the film still managed a 532% return on investment.
The mind bending thriller from auteur Christoper Nolan ended 2010 as the fourth-highest grossing movie of the year, with $824 million in ticket receipts; with its $160 million budget, the movie gave Warner Brothers a healthy 515 percent return on investment.
7. True Grit
The latest western from the Coen Brothers was budgeted at $38 million and is their highest grossing film ever, logging $175 million in ticket sales so far.
8. Winter's Bone
Its $2 million budget didn't prevent Winter's Bone from earning four nominations; its $8 million box office translates into a 400 percent return on investment.
9. The Fighter
This Boston-based film chronicles the true story of boxer Mickey Ward and has collected nearly $100 million at the box office; even with big stars like Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale, the movie was budgeted at only $25 million.
10. 127 Hours
Danny Boyle's take on the story of Aron Ralston was budgeted at $18 million and has collected $30 million at the box office for a 167 percent return on investment.