Top Grossing Oscar Best Picture Winners
Show Me The Money!
Academy Award-winning movies don’t just take home gold on Oscar night, but often times at the box office as well. The buzz around nominated movies sends audiences to theaters in droves to find out what the fuss is all about. Here is the list of the movies that won the Academy Award for Best Picture and took home the most cash during their theatrical run.
1. Titanic (1997)
Love it or hate it, Titanic is arguably the biggest movie of all time. After its release on December 19, 1997, it grossed $600,788,188 at the box office and garnered 14 Academy Award nominations with 11 wins. Writer/director James Cameron’s behemoth of a movie solidified Leonardo DiCaprio as a heartthrob and gave Kate Winslet her second Oscar nomination (her first was in 1996 for Sense and Sensibility). All of this for a movie that has no possibility of a sequel…spoiler alert: the boat sinks.
Titanic At The 1998 Academy Awards
Best Picture: James Cameron/Landau
Best Director: James Cameron
Best Cinematography: Russell Carpenter
Best Art Direction/Set Decoration: Peter Lamont (Art Director)/Michael Ford (Set Decorator)
Best Costume Design: Deborah Lynn Scott
Best Sound: Gary Rydstrom/Tom Johnson/Gary Summers/Mark Ulano
Best Film Editing: Conrad Buff IV/James Cameron/Richard A. Harris
Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing: Tom Bellfort/Christopher Boyes
Best Visual Effects: Robert Legato/Mark A. Lasoff/Thomas L. Fisher/Michael Kanfer
Best Original Song: James Horner (Music)/Will Jennings (Lyrics) “My Heart Will Go On”
Best Original Dramatic Score: James Horner
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Kate Winslet
Best Supporting Actress: Gloria Stuart
Best Makeup: Tina Earnshaw/Greg Cannom/Simon Thompson
2. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the third installment in the movie trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels, was released on December 17, 2003. During the course of its run at the box office, it picked up a hefty $377,027,325. The big payday was at the 2004 Academy Awards when the movie triumphantly won all 11 categories in which it was nominated. This was a big deal considering the first two movies failed to take home the award for Best Picture the two previous years. However, The Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Rings won 4 Oscars out of 9 nominations, while the second film, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers won only 2 Oscars out of 4 nominations. The third time really was a charm for Peter Jackson.
Where The Numbers Come From
- Box Office Mojo
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The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King At The 2004 Academy Awards
Best Picture: Barrie M. Osborne/Peter Jackson/Fran Walsh
Best Director: Peter Jackson
Best Adapted Screenplay: Fran Walsh/Philippa Boyens/Peter Jackson
Best Film Editing: Jamie Selkirk
Best Art Direction/Set Decoration: Grant Major (Art Director)/Dan Hennah (Set Decorator)/Alan Lee (Set Decorator)
Best Costume Design: Ngila Dickson/Richard Taylor
Best Makeup: Richard Taylor/Peter King
Best Original Score: Howard Shore
Best Original Song: Fran Walsh/Howard Shore/Annie Lennox “Into the West”
Best Sound Mixing: Christopher Boyes/Michael Semanick/Michael Hedges/Hammond Peek
Best Visual Effects: Jim Rygiel/Joe Letteri/Randall William Cook/Alex Funke
3. Forrest Gump (1994)
Forrest Gump ran its way into theaters on July 6, 1994, and didn’t stop until it made $329,694,499 at the box office. The movie picked up 13 Oscar nominations and 6 wins at the 1995 Academy Awards, including Tom Hanks’s back-to-back win in the Leading Actor category (he won for Philadelphia the previous year). Forrest Gump may have claimed to be "not a smart man," but he was laughing all the way to the Oscar podium in 1995.
Forrest Gump At The 1995 Academy Awards
Best Picture: Wendy Finerman/Steve Starkey/Steve Tisch
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Tom Hanks
Best Director: Robert Zemeckis
Best Adapted Screenplay: Eric Roth
Best Film Editing: Arthur Schmidt
Best Visual Effects: Ken Ralston/George Murphy/Stephen Rosenbaum/Allen Hall
Best Supporting Actor: Gary Sinise
Best Cinematography: Don Burgess
Best Art Direction/Set Decoration: Rick Carter/Nancy Haigh
Best Sound: Randy Thorn/Tom Johnson/Dennis S. Sands/William B. Kaplan
Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing: Gloria S. Borders/Randy Thorn
Best Makeup: Daniel C. Striepeke/Hallie D’Amore/Judith A. Cory
Best Original Score: Alan Silvestri
4. Gladiator (2000)
Gladiator burst into theaters on May 5, 2000 and battled its way to earning $187,705,427 at the box office. The movie was doused in 12 Oscar nominations and took home 5 golden statues. Russell Crowe garnered his second nomination and first win; he was nominated for The Insider the previous year. The buzz also surrounded Joaquin Phoenix, who picked up his first-ever Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, but he lost to Benicio del Toro for his work in Traffic.
Gladiator At The 2001 Academy Awards
Best Picture: Douglas Wick/David Franzoni/Branko Lustig
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Russell Crowe
Best Costume Design: Janty Yates
Best Sound: Scott Millan/Bob Beemer/Ken Weston
Best Visual Effects: John Nelson/Neil Corbould/Tim Burke/Rob Harvey
Best Supporting Actor: Joaquin Phoenix
Best Director: Ridley Scott
Best Original Screenplay: David Franzoni (Screenplay/Story)/John Logan (Screenplay)/William Nicholson (Screenplay)
Best Cinematography: John Mathieson
Best Film Editing: Pietro Scalia
Best Original Score: Hans Zimmer
Best Art Direction/Set Decoration: Arthur Max (Art Director)/Crispian Sallis (Set Decorator)
5. Dances with Wolves (1990)
Dances with Wolves pranced its way into theaters on November 21, 1990, and made $184,208,848 during its time at the box office. It dazzled at the 1991 Academy Awards with 12 nominations and 7 wins, but the big winner was Kevin Costner taking home two statues for Best Picture and Best Director. Not too shabby for a dude who had a mullet for most of the movie.
Mullet Of The Year
Dances With Wolves At The 1991 Academy Awards
Best Picture: Jim Wilson/Kevin Costner
Best Director: Kevin Costner
Best Adapted Screenplay: Michael Blake
Best Cinematography: Dean Semler
Best Sound: Russell Williams II/Jeffrey Perkins/Bill W. Benton/Gregory H. Watkins
Best Film Editing: Neil Travis
Best Original Score: John Barry
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Kevin Costner
Best Supporting Actor: Graham Greene
Best Supporting Actress: Mary McDonnell
Best Art Direction/Set Decoration: Jeffrey Beecroft/Lisa Dean
Best Costume Design: Elsa Zamparelli
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