Oscar Winning Movies That Didn’t Turn a Profit

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Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures Corporation

10. Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)
> Award: Best Achievement in Cinematography; Best Achievement in Art Direction; Best Achievement in Costume Design
> Estimated production budget: $85 million
> Domestic box office gross: $57.5 million

Despite six total Oscar nominations and three wins, “Memoirs of a Geisha” received numerous poor reviews, resulting in a 35% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This critical reaction could be partially to blame for the film’s disappointing performance in the U.S. and Canada.

Source: Courtesy of Polygram Filmed Entertainment

9. What Dreams May Come (1998)
> Award: Best Effects, Visual Effects
> Estimated production budget: $85 million
> Domestic box office gross: $55.5 million

“What Dreams May Come” — starring Robin Williams and Cuba Gooding Jr. — received mixed reviews from critics. Most agreed on the film’s visual merits, however, which were rewarded with the Oscar for Best Effects, Visual Effects.

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

8. Wonder Boys (2000)
> Award: Best Music, Original Song
> Estimated production budget: $55 million
> Domestic box office gross: $19.4 million

“Wonder Boys,” starring Michael Douglas, one of the most popular Oscar winners of all time, and Tobey Maguire, grossed less than half of its production budget at the domestic box office. It did receive recognition from the Academy for the inclusion of the Bob Dylan original song “Things Have Changed.”

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

7. Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)
> Award: Best Achievement in Costume Design
> Estimated production budget: $55 million
> Domestic box office gross: $16.3 million

Although the film featured exceptional costume design, “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” failed to blow away critics or audiences, who gave the film 34% and 59% approval ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, respectively.

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures Corporation

6. Spectre (2015)
> Award: Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song
> Estimated production budget: $245 million
> Domestic box office gross: $200.1 million

The 24th James Bond film, “Spectre” cost more and earned less in the U.S. and Canada than the franchise’s preceding film “Skyfall.” The latter film reportedly cost $200 million to produce and grossed $304 million. It also managed to win two Oscars, compared with the one “Spectre” won.