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.