Oscar No. 8. Beasts of the Southern Wild
Studio: Fox Searchlight
2012 U.S. box office take: $12 million
The Oscars have really enjoyed the dour and the artistic in recent years, which makes the Terrence Malick-style fantasy Beasts of the Southern Wild that's ostensibly about the effects of Hurricane Katrina a natural for the awards judges.That said, it also lingered around the art theater circuit for months at a time. That gave it quite a bit in common with Disney's latest Pixar-drawn epic Brave, which rode its tale of teen angst, told through a filter of cartoon humor and Scottish mysticism, to the best U.S. box office performance by an animated film this year. Brave underwhelmed in the early offings and was still outperformed worldwide by Fox's Ice Age: Continental Drift and DreamWorks Animation's Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, but lingered in U.S. theaters for about half a year until it had wrung every dollar it could out of the kiddie market. In an entertainment environment where films are typically out on Blu-ray, DVD, on-demand and even streaming mere weeks after their theatrical release, Beasts of the Southern Wild and Brave are fantastic examples of how a slow burn can still work if studios and theaters show a little patience.