The two are of course hoping for a Best Picture win Sunday night.
What could that mean to the bottom line? Dergarabedian believes this is one case where just being nominated is more important.
"The six-week period between the Oscar nominations announcement and the telecast is where films can get their biggest boost at the box office," he said. "Films that might be otherwise dead in the water, finished in theaters, suddenly have hundreds of theaters added to capitalize on that newfound Oscar notoriety."
For example, "12 Years a Slave" was released in October, but after being nominated for Best Picture in January, Fox put the movie in 647 more theaters, according to Rentrak. Ticket sales jumped 471 percent the following weekend.
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Making a successful movie still requires a great script, director and cast, and a lot of luck, and there is less room for failure. Studios have become unwilling to fully finance anything other than a few big films.
" 'Dallas Buyers Club' lost half their financing before they went to shoot," Roven said. "They had to shoot with all natural lights," Suckle added.
Even so, the two producers say, it's a "bouyant time" to make movies. "There's just a lot more—I think the most—independent finance I've seen around, maybe ever," Roven said.
For "American Hustle," Sony would commit only to partial funding. Roven and Suckle got more money by cutting a deal with producer Megan Ellison, whose father is Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, one of the richest men in the world. But most of the needed cash came from foreign distributors who signed on at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012, before filming even began.
"We did what they call 'selling out,' " Roven said. "We sold almost every territory at that one festival, which is unusual. ... That squeezes—in a good way—your risk, but it also hurts your upside."
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"American Hustle" was eventually filmed in Boston and New York. That shaved as much as $8 million off production costs compared with filming in California, because of the more generous film incentives in Massachusetts and New York.
"My early movies were all made here, and now none of them are made here," said Roven in his Atlas Entertainment offices above the Sunset Strip.
Runaway production costs are a problem that don't seem to have a Hollywood ending. The Milken Institute reports that California lost more than 16,000 film and TV jobs between 2004 and 2012, while New York gained over 10,000, "even though New York is a more expensive place to film."
Just this week, Disney CEO Robert Iger appeared in Gotham to announce that Disney and Netflix will shoot a Marvel TV series there, bringing with it 3,000 jobs.