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Oscar nominations will get people back to theaters, boosting box office figures

Oscar nominated films are expected to get another boost at the box office as people head out to see the movies either for the first time or to get another look at the film.

A slew of Oscar-nominated films will get renewed attention at the theater, boosting box office figures and ultimately drumming up more interest for the awards show come March.

National Association of Theatre Owners CEO Micheal O'Leary told FOX Business that getting a nomination will bring a significant boost not only for the film, but also the studio that distributed it, the producers and film crews, and those who starred in it. 

"The only thing better than having Oscar nominated before your name is having Oscar winner before your name," O' Leary said. "People talk about [that] it's just an honor to be nominated, but it truly is because you're being singled out in a very small and select group of the best in film entertainment that's out there." 

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The films that were nominated for Best Picture, including "Barbie," "The Holdovers," "Killers of the Flower Moon" and "Oppenheimer," have already collectively brought in $2.7 billion at the box office globally, according to O'Leary. 

That figure is going to see an uptick over the course of the next month. The nominations not only drum up interest from people that have not seen a particular movie, but also from those who want a second look at it now that it is in the running to achieve a prestigious title, according to O'Leary.

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"What the nomination allows is to kind of push some of those movies to the forefront," O'Leary said. "You're going to start to see…just in the short term, people turning out movie theaters to get either a look at some of these movies…or take a second look at movies they saw when they were in initial release." 

In particular, O'Leary noted that "Poor Things," "The Holdovers," "American Fiction" and "Anatomy of a Fall" are among the movies that will "get a deeper look from the consumers out there." 

These nominations effectively give consumers the imprimatur that "this is something worth your time," he added. 

The good news is that when movies are nominated for an Oscar, they will go back into the theaters so people can get an opportunity to see them as they were "intended to be seen." This includes movies that have already left the theaters.

O'Leary noticed that there was "a lot of momentum for theatrical exhibition" in 2023. Moviegoers started to pour back into theaters, underscoring how the "enthusiasm for seeing movies on the big screen is really just continuing to grow" with the pandemic in the rearview mirror

He projected that this trend will only boost viewership of the Academy Award ceremony itself. 

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The nominations "will actually stir the interest of the movie going public and draw attention to the show in March," according to O'Leary. 

As more people head back to theaters, there will be continued interest in the Oscar shows as well, he added.

The benefits of being an Oscar nominee are far-reaching too. Not only will it boost box office sales in the short term, and drum up interest in the award show, but everyone associated with the project will benefit in the long run when it comes to getting their next gig. 

"People gravitate to success," he noted. "They want people associated with their projects that reflect the best and the brightest of our industry. And the Oscar nomination kind of puts you in that category."

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