As far as the studios were concerned, it really was an honor just to be nominated _ though the Walt Disney Co.'s Miramax division might feel differently now.
Each best picture nominee at Sunday's Oscars had seen a box office jump in the run-up to the awards show, with Miramax's "No Country For Old Men" taking the big prize _ and the lingering cash flow that comes with it. All five films, which included Fox Searchlight's "Juno," Paramount Vantage's "There Will Be Blood," Focus Features' "Atonement," and Warner Bros.' "Michael Clayton," saw revenues increase more than 50 percent, or $110.7 million (euro74.56 million), to $327.4 million (euro220.5 million), since the Jan. 22 nominations.
"That's a pretty healthy bump," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of the tracking firm Media By Numbers.
The majority of the Oscar bounce usually comes between the nominations and the telecast, while the best picture winner will continue to reap benefits for weeks afterward, he said.
The Coen brothers' quietly paced thriller, "No Country," has been on a roll critically and commercially since it debuted in Cannes in May and topped $64 million (euro43.1 million) through Sunday, their highest grossing film ever. Nearly a quarter of the revenue came since it garnered eight nominations last month.
On Sunday night, it won four, including for supporting actor, Javier Bardem, and best directing honors for Joel and Ethan Coen.
"We've all been riding the incredible wave of success," said Emily Bear, Miramax's executive vice president of publicity. The company partnered with Paramount Vantage and distributed the film in the United States.
The teen-pregnancy hit "Juno," which won for original screenplay, experienced the largest pre-Oscar surge, gaining $43.3 million (euro29.16 million) since being nominated to $130.4 million (euro87.82 million) through Sunday for parent News Corp. The biggest percentage gainer was "There Will Be Blood," the brooding oil gusher drama starring Daniel Day-Lewis, which grossed 75 percent of its $35 million (euro23.57 million) after it received eight Oscar nominations.
Day-Lewis won his second best actor award, while the film took a second prize for cinematography.
"We've had great numbers over the last few weeks," said Rob Schulze, executive vice president of distribution for Paramount Vantage, a division of Viacom Inc., which partnered with Miramax on the film and distributed the film domestically.
Schulze expected Day-Lewis' win for best actor to boost box office revenues by about 20 percent, much like it did for wins by Philip Seymour Hoffman for "Capote" in 2006 and Forest Whitaker for "Last King of Scotland" last year.
"We'll continue to gross well over the next three to six weeks," Schulze said.
"Atonement," the tragic romance starring Keira Knightley and James McAvoy, earned Focus Features an extra $16.7 million (euro11.25 million) since receiving seven nominations, bringing its gross to $49.4 million (euro33.27 million). It won an Oscar only for original score.
Focus Features is owned by NBC Universal, a joint venture of General Electric Co. and Vivendi Universal.
Warner Bros.' legal drama "Michael Clayton" was the longest running best picture nominee and received the smallest post-nomination bounce of $9.1 million (euro6.13 million), bringing its 21-week gross over $48.5 million (euro32.66 million) through Sunday. Tilda Swinton won for best supporting actress in the film for her portrayal of a ruthless corporate attorney, Karen Crowder.
The studio, owned by Time Warner Inc., is aiming to capture its post-Oscar bounce on DVD, which it released Feb. 19. The other studios also seek to cash in on the Oscar telecast publicity with upcoming DVD releases.
"No Country" will be released on DVD on March 11; "Atonement" is out March 18; "Juno" will be released April 15; and "There Will Be Blood" is coming out in early April.
"Juno" promoter Steven Feldstein, spokesman for Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, said the film has "pierced the popular culture like few films do" and said the DVD release is being anxiously anticipated.
"Interest in owning it is extremely high," he said.