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2013 Best Picture Nominees: What ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ Means to Comcast Corporation

By Tim Beyers - Mar 1, 2014 at 9:06AM

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Already a two-time Golden Globe winner, the biographical drama from Focus Features could end up one of Comcast Corporation’s most profitable movies.

Matthew McConaughey won Best Actor at the Golden Globes and is up for an Oscar in the same category. Sources: Facebook, Focus Features.

Whether or not Dallas Buyers Club wins the Oscar for Best Picture, the film is already a huge winner for Comcast Corporation ( CMCSA 0.54% ) subsidiary Focus Features, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.

Starring Matthew McConaughey as an electrician stricken with AIDS who takes unusual steps to get the medicine he and others need, Box Office Mojo places Dallas Buyers Club in the "Gay / Lesbian" category alongside such films as MGM's The Birdcage (1996), Time Warner's Interview with the Vampire (1994), and Focus Features' Brokeback Mountain (1994). All three generated interest from the Academy, with Brokeback winning three Oscars. Dallas Buyers Club is nominated for six statues, in the following categories:

  • Best Picture
  • Best Actor (Matthew McConaughey)
  • Best Supporting Actor (Jared Leto)
  • Best Original Screenplay (Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack)
  • Best Achievement in Editing
  • Best Achievement in Makeup

Impressive, to be sure, and yet dwarfed by the film's financial achievements. Dallas Buyers Club opened on Nov. 1 and then stayed in theaters nearly 17 weeks. More than 32% of its $24.8 million in U.S. grosses arrived after the film's mid-January nomination to the "Best Picture" list. Worldwide, the film has grossed $30.8 million as of this writing.

Not bad, but we've seen independent films do better. What makes Dallas Buyers Club special is the $5 million Focus Features spent on making the film. Figuring another $5 million for marketing and distribution puts box office break-even at a mere $10 million. Dallas Buyers Club had earned an estimated $15.4 million in profit as of this writing, after accounting for cinemas' 50% cut. A spectacular margin by any measure, Tim says.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. How do you rate Dallas Buyers Club's chances at the Oscars? Did you see the film? Please watch the video to get Tim's full take and then leave a comment to let us know where you stand, and whether you would buy, sell, or short Comcast stock at current prices.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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