How much is Oscar really worth?

February 22, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
It's certainly a thrill to win an Academy Award, but the benefits of Oscar gold go way beyond just being honored.Just being nominated for an Academy Award has helped all five best picture nominees. "There Will Be Blood" has gotten the biggest boost -- its box office is up more than 200 percent since January.

But it's not just the films that benefit -- the actors do, too.

Eight-and-a-half pounds, 13.five-inches high, and plated in 24 karat gold. But what is an Oscar really worth?

"Everybody bows in the name of Oscar. Everybody wants one, and would spend a lot of time and money and effort to get one," said Jeanne Wolf, the west coast editor of "Parade".

The studios certainly do -- a movie's Oscar campaign can reach into the high seven figures.

"Hollywood isn't going to tell us how much they spend campaigning for Oscars, but we know it's in the millions for sure," said Martin Grove of HollywoodReporter.com.

Studio efforts include special screenings, front page ads in the trades, and highlight reel DVDs to showcase a particular performance.

"It's an enormous amount of money, and often it can be made back because finally people pay attention to the movie," said Wolf.

So far, only one of the films nominated for best picture has cracked the $100 million mark. "Juno" has been a bonanza at the box office, and a potential jackpot for the up-and-coming actress who stars in it.

"Oh, I promise you, Ellen Page will make more than double the money she made for 'Juno'," said Wolf.

"I'm an actor because I love to act, and when stuff like this happens, it represents that I'll be able to be in a couple more movies, and that's exciting," said Page.

From one of the youngest to one of the oldest nominees this year, there is always proof Oscar never loses his allure.

"And I thought, 'Holbrook, your time has come,'" joked Oscar nominee Hal Holbrook.


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