A modest slip for ‘The King’s Speech’

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“The King’s Speech” was the reigning champion at the Oscars this year, but when it comes to award-winning movies at the box office, the film doesn’t take the crown.

On the weekend after the Academy Awards, its 15th week in theaters, the best picture winner dropped a modest 11%, taking in a solid $6.5 million, according to distributor Paramount Pictures. That brought its estimated domestic tally to $123.8 million. Though the film has sold an impressive number of tickets for a low-budget independent movie, previous best picture winners still in wide release have seen bigger post-Oscar boosts.

“The King’s Speech”: An article in the March 7 Calendar section about the box-office performance of “The King’s Speech” after it won the Oscar for best picture said the film was distributed by Paramount Pictures. The distributor was the Weinstein Co.

In 2009, “Slumdog Millionaire” had a 43% increase after the telecast, raking in an additional $12 million in its 15th week in release. It ultimately added $42.9 million to its total after the award show, ending up with $141.3 million. In 2005, Clint Eastwood’s “Million Dollar Baby” took in $8.1 million on the weekend after its Oscar win, and “Chicago” grossed $7.2 million soon after its 2003 victory.


All of those films were playing at more than 2,000 locations nationwide. “The King’s Speech” is being shown in 2,204 theaters. The only comparable best picture winner it fared better than in the last decade was “No Country for Old Men” in 2008. That film was in 2,037 theaters after the awards but grossed only $4.1 million on its post-Oscar weekend.

In the coming months, however, the Weinstein Co. is slated to release a PG-13-rated version of “The King’s Speech” that could lure a broader swath of moviegoers to theaters.

—Amy Kaufman