Oscar Winning Movies That Didn’t Turn a Profit

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Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

5. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)
> Award: Best Cinematography; Best Sound Editing
> Estimated production budget: $150 million
> Domestic box office gross: $93.9 million

The Peter Weir-directed “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World” is visually stunning thanks in large part to the work of cinematographer Russell Boyd, whose work on the film won him the Oscar for Best Cinematography. The movie also scored a win for Best Sound Editing.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

4. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
> Award: Best Achievement in Cinematography; Best Achievement in Visual Effects
> Estimated production budget: $150 million
> Domestic box office gross: $92.1 million

Despite generally favorable reviews, the $150 million follow-up to “Blade Runner” grossed just over $92 million in the U.S. and Canada. Longtime Coen brothers collaborator Richard Deakins was recognized by the Academy for his cinematography, however, as was the movie’s visual effects team.

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

3. Hugo (2011)
> Award: Best Achievement in Cinematography; Best Achievement in Sound Mixing; Best Achievement in Sound Editing; Best Achievement in Visual Effects; Best Achievement in Art Direction
> Estimated production budget: $150 million
> Domestic box office gross: $73.9 million

Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” did extremely well at the 2012 Oscars, winning five awards and being nominated for an additional six, including Best Picture. Yet the 3D movie underperformed at the box office, due in part to audiences being more drawn to “The Muppets” and “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1.”

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

2. The Wolfman (2010)
> Award: Best Achievement in Makeup
> Estimated production budget: $150 million
> Domestic box office gross: $62.0 million

The 2010 updated version of “The Wolfman” grossed just $62 million at the domestic box office against a bloated budget of $150 million. Accomplished makeup artists Rick Baker and Dave Elsey were still awarded for their first-rate work on the movie.

Source: Courtesy of New Line Cinema

1. The Golden Compass (2007)
> Award: Best Achievement in Visual Effects
> Estimated production budget: $180 million
> Domestic box office gross: $70.1 million

Fantasy film “The Golden Compass” failed miserably at the domestic box office, grossing a fraction of its reported $180 million budget. The film was plagued with controversies, including boycotts and protests from religious groups such as the Catholic League due to themes critical of the Catholic Church. The movie’s box office failure contributed to studio New Line Cinema’s being absorbed into Warner Bros. Pictures.