Peter Farrelly's "Green Book" emerged as the surprise winner at the 91st Oscars on Sunday night. The film, telling the story of world-class African-American pianist Don Shirley and his Italian-American driver Tony Vallelonga touring the Southern part of a deeply segregated 1962 America, won three major categories, including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor.
Having earned $144 million at the global box office so far, "Green Book" was reasonably successful in commercial terms, especially considering its modest production budget of $23 million, but it was still worlds apart from the breathtaking numbers "traditional" blockbuster movies routinely pull these days.
As our chart illustrates, most Best Picture winners of the past ten years didn’t make nearly as much money as the respective year’s biggest box office hit, illustrating that commercial success and critical acclaim often don't go hand in hand. The last true blockbuster to win the Best Picture award was the third and final part of Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, which raked in $1.1 billion at the box office worldwide and was crowned Best Picture in 2004.