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And the Oscar for Best Picture Almost Nobody Saw Goes to ...

  • Average box office for nominees has been shrinking for years
  • ‘La La Land’ at $341 million globally approaches hits of past

When the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences hands out its coveted Oscar for best picture on Sunday, odds are the 6,500-plus members will anoint a film that fits the mold of recent honorees -- smallish and artsy.

Gone are the days when megahits such as “Titanic” or “Lord of The Rings” win best picture. Today, the prize is more likely to go to a smaller-budget film with limited exposure outside of big cities like New York and Los Angeles. This year’s nine hopefuls averaged $54 million in domestic ticket sales before their nominations were announced, according to ComScore Inc., not enough to rank in the top 50 for the year.