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Oscars 2014: Which movie would win Best Picture based on box office stats?

Just about everybody has a favorite in the Best Picture hunt at the Oscars each year, whether or not they've seen all (or even any) of the nominated films in the category. Some base their choice on the acting, on the screenplay and the acting, on the movie's "message," on the film's overall entertainment impact, and/or on a combination of factors like directorial, cinematography, special effects, costume design, sound and score. Some even base their choices for Best Picture on the fact that they are casted with a favorite actor or was shot by a favored director. But what if the movies up for the Best Picture Oscar for 2014 was based solely on box office performance? Who would win then?

As the Los Angeles Times pointed out March 2 that several movies nominated for the 2014 Oscar for Best Picture got a boost in box office returns simply by getting on the list of nine nominees. Movies like "Nebraska" and "Philomena" were virtually unheard of, while films like "Dallas Buyers Club," "Her," and "12 Years A Slave" were being powered by star recognition and nominations for other major awards.

The Times also pointed out that, of the nine nominees (which can be seen as a set of vertically aligned GIFs at Yahoo Entertainment on tumor), only four had crossed the $100 million mark in box office sales. This was a bit off the pace of the 2013 nominees, which boasted six.

The nominees for Best Picture this year are:

Captain Phillips



Dallas Buyers Club



American Hustle

12 Years A Slave

Wolf Of Wall Street

As mentioned only four -- "Captain Phillips," "American Hustle," "Gravity," and "Wolf Of Wall Street" -- have topped the $100 million grossing mark. This narrows the field of contenders for the Best Picture Oscar (by our limited rule) considerably.

So how do they stack up? Here are their box office grosses (gleaned from Box Office Mojo), as of March 2, the day of the Academy Awards ceremony:

Captain Phillips - $107 million

Wolf Of Wall Street - $115 million

American Hustle - $147 million

Gravity - $270 million

And there you have it. If the parameters of being awarded the Academy Award for Best Picture was something as simple as how much money it made in ticket sales, "Gravity" would be the runaway winner.

However, Oscars aren't bestowed by some accumulative capitalistic metric. Instead, the members of the Academy, people with -- alliances, grudges, loves, loves lost, vested interests, business dealings, and hatreds -- that vote for the nominees. So the winner could be… any of the films.

And to put things into perspective, if one of the animated films, "Frozen," had been added to the mix of nominees, it would have won easily. It has taken in nearly $389 million to date (and topping the $1 billion mark worldwide this very weekend).

The 86th Academy Awards ceremony airs live, hosted by Ellen Degeneres, on ABC Television beginning at 8:30 p.m. (EST).

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