erik lundegaard

Best Picture Release Months

I'm working on a post about Oscar and box office, but in the meantime here's a chart on the last time a best picture was released in each month. Yeah, January's not the way to go. That took some reasearch to get there. OK, not so much research but clicking. (I miss the days of research.)

MONTH MOVIE YEAR
October Moonlight 2016
November Spotlight 2015
June The Hurt Locker 2009
May Crash 2005
December Million Dollar Baby 2004
September American Beauty 1999
July Forrest Gump 1994
August Unforgiven 1992
February

The Silence of the Lambs

1991
April Annie Hall 1977
March The Godfather  1972
January The Greatest Show on Earth 1952

The big surprise is less that no one releases a prestige pic in January, but how long it's been since we've had a best picture winner released in December. That used to be the norm. Between 1997 and 2004, six of the eight BP winners were December releases: “Titanic,” “Shakespeare in Love,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “Chicago,” “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” and Eastwood's “Million Dollar Baby.”  

Since then we've had one May winner (“Crash”), one June winner (“The Hurt Locker”), five October winners (“Departed,” “Argo,” “12 Years a Slave,” “Birdman” and “Moonlight”) and five November winners (“No Country for Old Men,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “The King's Speech,” “The Artist,” “Spotlight”). No Decembers. 

I hope the trend continues. Maybe it will discourage studios from releasing their prestige movies in the last two weeks of the year on the obscure hope they'll be better remembered—rather than simply trampled. 

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Posted at 08:56 AM on Wed. Jan 24, 2018 in category Movies - The Oscars  

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