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Box Office Check-In: The Post’s Massive Haul, Shape of Water Cracks Top Ten, Lady Bird Makes Bank

In just nine theaters, Steven Spielberg’s The Post had a massive 58K per theater average, which shows this movie will do just fine at the box office, as most of Spielberg’s films do. The Shape of Water expanded and cracked the top 10, making $7 million in four weeks of limited release. Darkest Hour also expanded and also ranked in the top 10. Finally, Lady Bird is at 28 million with no signs of slowing down. It is already the highest grossing film from A24.

Let’s see how our Best Picture contenders are faring, box office wise:

Dunkirk remains the champ — even though out of theaters it’s made $188 million. Following very closely is Get Out with $175 million. What’s remarkable about that is how different the two films are in terms of budget and construction — to be within a few million of each other is astounding. Baby Driver made $107 million before heading to streaming, and The Big Sick made $42 million, which puts it near the top of the list of money makers among Best Picture hopefuls.

It looks like Lady Bird might be the next in line in terms of box office legs, at $28 million and counting. The Disaster Artist is at $15 million and counting. Shape of Water and Darkest Hour are closing in on $10 million. Call Me By Your Name is still playing in roughly 100 theaters and will likely expand. We’re still a ways off from being able to flush out a fuller picture of which films made the most money, but I suspect the studios will let the awards be their guide: what wins big at the Globes will expand and grow their box office take.

If the race comes down to Get Out vs. Dunkirk ,you are looking at two hundred million dollar babies to maybe take the whole thing. Otherwise, we’re in the more Oscar-friendly comfort zone of movies that make a lot less than that when taking the top prize. The box office, at least for art house indies, does seem to get more of a boost from the awards race than any other these days, which is the reverse from when I started back in 2000, when box office counted for a lot. And so it goes.