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3. “Million Dollar Baby” (2004)

Oscar bump: 35.5%
Box office post-award: $35.6 million
Box office pre-award: $64.9 million

Total box office gross (inflation adjusted): $119.7 million
Limited release date: Dec 15, 2004
Wide release date: January 28, 2005

Frankie Dunn, played by Clint Eastwood, is an aging boxing trainer with few friends and an estranged daughter. Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank) is a down-on-her-luck waitress who pursues a career in boxing, enlisting Frankie to be her trainer. Frankie and Maggie create forge a father-daughter-like bond throughout the film, helping Frankie reconcile with his biological daughter. Maggie is severely injured in a match, causing permanent and life-threatening damage to her spine. While on life support Maggie asks Frankie to pull the plug because she does not want to live in her current existence.

Opening to only eight theaters and expanding to only 147 screens prior to Oscar nominations, “Million Dollar Baby” made just 8.5 percent of its total box-office revenue before its wide release to over 2,000 theaters after its nomination. After its wide release, it made a whopping $56 million and another $35 million post award, accounting for 92 percent of its total box-office revenue.

Photo: AP