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The Hurt Locker (2009)

Domestic gross (inflation adj.): $17.5 million
Domestic gross: $17 million

The 2010 Best Picture winner is also the lowest grossing of all time. The Hurt Locker is about a US bomb squad during the Iraq War, and it was written by Mark Boal, who based his screenplay on his experiences as a journalist embedded with a bomb disposal team in Iraq. It received nearly unanimous acclaim from critics, although real-life veterans of the war characterized the film as inaccurate.

The Hurt Locker won the Oscar for Best Picture, and its director, Kathryn Bigelow, became the first woman ever to win Best Director. However, none of the awards could make the film a box office success, or even allow it to reach the weekend box office top 5. Its budget had been $15 million, and its domestic gross of $17 million was barely enough for it to break even. However, not only did it join Amadeus and The English Patient as one of only three Best Picture winners never to enter the top five, it never even made it into the top ten.

Photo: AP