The Best Picture Oscars gaffe that saw La La Land briefly named as the Best Picture winner, instead of the rightful victor Moonlight, has dominated headlines over the last week. Which is understandable considering it will likely go down as the most memorable moment in Academy Awards history.
However, while you might have expected this to give both La La Land and Moonlight an Oscar bump, the latter won’t profit quite as much as expected. Business and box experts have explained that the reason for Moonlight’s potential failure to truly profit from its Oscar triumph is down to the fact that most people are talking about the gaffe rather than the film.
The Best Picture snafu has taken up most of the media attention that Moonlight should have received for surprisingly winning the Best Picture gong ahead of the favorite La La Land. Business Website Bloomberg Markets, via Metro, were the first to report about the potential effect that the incident could have on Moonlight, and they also suggested that it might not provide director Barry Jenkins with the career bump that’s reserved for such a triumph, too.
This is especially disappointing considering how many barriers that Moonlight broke down with its Oscar success, which also included Mahershala Ali winning the Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Juan, and Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney picking up the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, too. Moonlight became the first all-black cast and LGBT film to ever win Best Picture, while Joi McMillon became the first black woman to ever be nominated for an editing Oscar, which she received alongside co-editor Nat Sanders. Mahershala Ali also became the first Muslim actor to ever win an acting Academy Award, too.
Made for just $1.5 million, Moonlight has already grossed $31.1 million. But while that’s a healthy return for such an independent film, it also means that Moonlight is the second lowest-grossing film domestically, behind The Hurt Locker, to win the Best Picture award, too.
Moonlight’s slight struggles domestically are particularly heightened when compared to the amount that the likes of Hidden Figures and La La Land have grossed. Hidden Figures and La La Land, which were also nominated for the Best Picture accolade, grossed $152 million and $140 million respectively, amounts that Moonlight won’t be able to get anywhere near to.
Deadline has predicted that Moonlight will probably end up with a gross of around $40 million by the time its theatrical release has come to an end. Moonlight has only just been released internationally, which means that it’s hard to estimate its appeal across Europe.
Despite the predictions that it won’t be able to do so, A24 have expanded Moonlight’s release in the United States in an attempt to profit and capitalize from the Oscar bump in ticket sales. This has seen its theatrical release expanded to 1,100 screens across the US.
Following the Best Picture gaffe, which saw Wayne Beatty and Faye Dunaway given the Best Actress envelope rather than the one for Best Picture, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the company that were in charge of handing them out, issued an apology and confirmed that partner Brian Cullinan had taken full responsibility.
“PwC takes full responsibility for the series of mistakes and breaches of established protocols during the Oscars. PwC Partner Brian Cullinan mistakenly handed the back-up envelope for Actress in a Leading Role instead of the envelope for Best Picture to presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. Once the error occurred, protocols for correcting it were not followed through quickly enough by Mr. Cullinan or his partner. We are deeply sorry for the disappointment suffered by the cast and crew of La La Land and Moonlight. We sincerely apologize to Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Jimmy Kimmel, ABC, and the Academy, none of whom was at fault for last night’s errors. We wish to extend our deepest gratitude to each of them for the graciousness they displayed during such a difficult moment.”
Brian Cullinan and Martha Diaz have both been banned from ever working the Academy Awards again.
[Featured Image by A24]