Oscar-Nominated Films Not Heating Up the Box Office - Featured

Jason slashed his way to a box office record this weekend, but those cerebral and emotionally rich films vying for Oscars look as limp as one of his victims.

This year's best picture nominees have grossed $273.2 million at the domestic box office, down significantly from the $316.6 million raked in by last year's class, Variety reports.

What's worse, if you remove runaway hit Slumdog Millionaire's $88 million and the $122.5 million brought in by The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, the remaining films are among the lowest-grossing nominees in years. So far, Frost / Nixon has earned $16.5 million, Milk has raked $26.7 million, and the The Reader's take stands at $19.4 million.

By this point last year, There Will Be Blood had grossed $32.4 million; Atonement, No Country for Old Men, and Michael Clayton had each grossed more that $45 million, and breakout hit Juno had racked up $126.3 million.

Of course, the gross numbers don't tell the whole story. Both Milk and The Reader have doubled their intake since their nominations, and The Wrestler and Doubt, which earned nods in other categories, continue to perform well despite being shut out of the best picture race. Clint Eastwood's virtually ignored Gran Torino has earned $129 million to date.

At this weekend's box office, Friday the 13th earned $42.2 million in its opening weekend. That marks a record debut for a horror pic, besting the $39.1 mil scared up by The Grudge.

What's your take on the sag in box-office returns? Are the nominees subpar this year, or is there too much to take in?

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