Oscar Winners: 20 Years Of Best Picture Box-Office Rankings

We take a look at what taking home Sunday's big prize could do for this year's Best Picture winner.

If the 2012 Oscars unfold as expected Sunday night, "The Artist" will walk away with a Best Picture win at the close of the ceremony. With that triumph, the silent, black-and-white film will become the second lowest-growing Best Picture winner in modern history. A populist fave, this movie is not.

And that's often the case. While box-office record-breaker "Titanic" took home the Academy's top honor in 1998, the Best Picture ranks are littered with ho-hum performers. Some, like "Schindler's List" and "Million Dollar Baby," received huge bumps from their wins. "The Silence of the Lambs," which hit theaters in February 1991, received no bump at all, as it was already out of theaters. Yet others received small re-releases and added a few million to their totals.

To put the likely "Artist" win in historical context, MTV News took a look back at the past 20 years of Best Picture winners, ranking them from lowest to highest grossing (all figures come from Box Office Mojo and are not adjusted for inflation or ticket price).

20. "The Hurt Locker"

Pre-show box office: $14.7 million

Date of show: 3/7/2010

Date of release: 6/26/2009

Total box-office haul: $17 million

19. "Crash"

Pre-show box office: $53.3 million

Date of show: 3/5/2006

Date of release: 5/6/2005

Total box-office haul: $54.6 million

18. "Schindler's List"

Pre-show box office: $59.8 million

Date of show: 3/21/1994

Date of release: 12/15/1993

Total box-office haul: $96.1 million

17. "The English Patient"

Pre-show box office: $63.2 million

Date of show: 3/24/1997

Date of release: 11/15/1996

Total box-office haul: $78.7 million

16. "No Country for Old Men"

Pre-show box office: $64.3 million

Date of show: 2/24/2008

Date of release: 11/9/2007

Total box-office haul: $74.3 million

15. "Million Dollar Baby"

Pre-show box office: $64.9 million

Date of show: 2/27/2005

Date of release: 12/15/2004

Total box-office haul: $100.5 million

14. "Shakespeare in Love"

Pre-show box office: $73.2 million

Date of show: 3/21/1999

Date of release: 12/11/1998

Total box-office haul: $100.3 million

13. "Braveheart"

Pre-show box office: $73.3 million

Date of show: 3/25/1996

Date of release: 5/24/1995

Total box-office haul: $75.6 million

12. "Unforgiven"

Pre-show box office: $78.9 million

Date of show: 3/29/1993

Date of release: 8/7/1992

Total box-office haul: $101.2 million

11. "Slumdog Millionaire"

Pre-show box office: $98.4 million

Date of show: 2/22/2009

Date of release: 11/12/2008

Total box-office haul: $141.3 million

10. "American Beauty"

Pre-show box office: $108.5 million

Date of show: 3/26/2000

Date of release: 9/15/1999

Total box-office haul: $130.1

9. "The King's Speech"

Pre-show box office: $114.2 million

Date of show: 2/27/2011

Date of release: 11/26/2010

Total box-office haul: $135.5 million

8. "The Silence of the Lambs"

Pre-show box office: $130.7 million

Date of show: 3/30/1992

Date of release: 2/14/1991

Total box-office haul: $130.7 million

7. "The Departed"

Pre-show box office: $131.4 million

Date of show: 2/25/2007

Date of release: 10/6/2006

Total box-office haul: $132.4 million

6. "Chicago"

Pre-show box office: $134.0 million

Date of show: 3/23/2003

Date of release: 12/27/2002

Total box-office haul: $170.7 million

5. "A Beautiful Mind"

Pre-show box office: $154.7 million

Date of show: 3/24/2002

Date of release: 12/21/2001

Total box-office haul: $170.7 million

4. "Gladiator"

Pre-show box office: $186.9 million

Date of show: 3/25/2001

Date of release: 5/5/2000

Total box-office haul: $187.7 million

3. "Forrest Gump"

Pre-show box office: $317.1 million

Date of show: 3/27/1995

Date of release: 7/6/1994

Total box-office haul: $329.7 million

2. "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King "

Pre-show box office: $364.1 million

Date of show: 2/29/2004

Date of release: 12/17/2003

Total box-office haul: $377.0 million

20. "Titanic"

Pre-show box office: $494.5 million

Date of show: 3/23/1998

Date of release: 12/19/1997

Total box-office haul: $600.8 million

The MTV Movies team has the 2012 Oscars covered! Stick with us for everything you need to know leading up to the awards show, and head to Next Movie for a printable Oscar ballot. On Sunday, tune into MTV.com at 5 p.m. ET for our two-and-a-half-hour red-carpet live stream and updates on the night's big winners. To join the live conversation, tweet @MTVNews with the hashtag #Oscars.