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Academy Awards: What’s an Oscar Really Worth?
CNBC.com | February 24, 2012 | 12:51 PM EST

Gold prices are up, but that’s not the only thing that makes Sunday’s Oscar wins more valuable than those in years past.

(Yes, Oscars are made of gold-plated britannium.

But no, don’t expect to see Oscars up for sale on eBay—winners are forbidden from selling them).

Here’s why this year’s Academy Awards could be worth more than ever:

Smaller films = Big Box Office Boost

The smaller the film, the bigger the impact of an Oscar on its box office and home video revenue. And this year’s best picture nominees haven’t had that much commercial success—bringing in less than half the box office success as last year’s crop. The nine best picture nominees have grossed $595 million through Monday. In contrast, last year’s ten best picture nominees grossed $1.294 billion through the Monday before the big event. That makes wins that much more important than ever to studios’ bottom line.

Oscar winners bring in 7.6 percent higher box office return on average than nominees that don’t win, according to IBIS world. On average, winners of Best Picture earned 57 percent of their total revenue before the nominees were announced, 27 percent once they were nominated and more than 15 percent after winning an Oscar. Nominees that didn’t bring home the gold earn just 5 percent of their total take after the awards show.

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