Oscar Winning Movies That Didn’t Turn a Profit

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Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

15. Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)
> Award: Best Achievement in Makeup
> Estimated production budget: $140 million
> Domestic box office gross: $118.6 million

The 2004 film grossed more than $118 million at the domestic box office, making it the 18th top grossing film of that year. Unfortunately, the film cost a whopping $140 million to produce.

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

14. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
> Award: Best Achievement in Art Direction; Best Achievement in Makeup; Best Achievement in Visual Effects
> Estimated production budget: $150 million
> Domestic box office gross: $127.5 million

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” directed by David Fincher, did exceptionally well at the Academy Awards, receiving 13 nominations, three of which it won. Audiences may have had less patience with the film, which ran for a total of two hours and 46 minutes.

Source: Courtesy of Apparition

13. The Young Victoria (2009)
> Award: Best Achievement in Costume Design
> Estimated production budget: $35 million
> Domestic box office gross: $11.0 million

Historical drama “The Young Victoria” grossed just over $260,000 on its opening weekend in the U.S. and Canada and $11 million in total. The movie’s extravagant wardrobes, however, earned it the Academy Award for Best Achievement in Costume Design.

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures Corporation

12. Marie Antoinette (2006)
> Award: Best Achievement in Costume Design
> Estimated production budget: $40 million
> Domestic box office gross: $16.0 million

Sofia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette” is another historical drama that won an Oscar for its costume design. Audiences were lukewarm with regard to the full product, however, as was reflected in its middling box office returns.

Source: Courtesy of DreamWorks Distribution

11. Almost Famous (2000)
> Award: Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
> Estimated production budget: $60 million
> Domestic box office gross: $32.5 million

Although “Almost Famous” bombed at the box office, it generated mostly positive reviews among critics who often noted the film’s screenplay, for which it won an Oscar.