Art-House Fare Hopes for an Oscar-Nod Push, as ‘Split’ Rules North America

Art-House Fare Hopes for an Oscar-Nod Push, as ‘Split’ Rules North America

Nominations for the 89th Academy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, and movie marketers will be ready to pounce with ads that try to coax more people into seats: The establishment is swooning! Get to a theater!

It works. Research indicates that Oscar nominations often result in tens of millions in additional ticket sales, particularly for little-seen art-house films.

Among the movies counting on awards attention to find a bigger audience is “Moonlight.” Seen as a leading contender for best picture, this euphorically reviewed drama about a young black man in Miami started strong but has stalled. It has taken in about $15.8 million over 14 weeks.

For “Silence,” Martin Scorsese and Paramount desperately need the academy to help their slow-burning drama from becoming a financial washout. Costing $50 million to make, “Silence,” a passion project for Mr. Scorsese as director, has collected $5.2 million since its arrival on Dec. 23.

“Lion,” a tear-jerker set largely in India, is a Weinstein Company film that has earned $16.4 million — a solid result for an art film of its type but still a long way from Weinstein awards hits in recent years. (Another Weinstein movie, “The Founder,” about the start of the McDonald’s fast-food empire, arrived to $3.4 million in ticket sales over the weekend.)

“20th Century Women,” a comedic drama about a quirky mother (Annette Bening) in the late 1970s, has taken in $2.3 million. An Oscar nomination for Ms. Bening would help give it momentum.

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