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2013 Oscar Nominees: What ‘Gravity’ Means to Time Warner Inc.

By Tim Beyers – Mar 2, 2014 at 4:05AM

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The first sci-fi film with a genuine shot at Best Picture honors is not only profitable for studio distributor Time Warner Inc., but also up for 10 total awards.

Star Sandra Bullock is up for Best Actress honors for her role in Gravity. Source: Warner Bros.

Gravity isn't just an Oscar favorite. Alfonso Cuaron's epic tale of surviving a disaster in space is also shaping up to be one of the most profitable Rule Breakers in Hollywood history. Fool contributor Tim Beyers explains the benefits for distributor Time Warner (TWX) in the following video.

Starring Sandra Bullock as the struggling sole survivor of a horrific accident in orbit, Box Office Mojo places Gravity in its "Disaster" category alongside such films as Paramount's Titanic (1997), Twenty-First Century Fox's Independence Day (1996), and Warner's Twister (1996). While there's no chance of Gravity equalling Titanic's 11 Oscars, the film could take home as many as 10 statues in the following categories:

* Best Picture
* Best Director (Alfonso Cuaron)
* Best Actress (Sandra Bullock)
* Best Achievement in Editing
* Best Achievement in Cinematography
* Best Achievement in Art Direction
* Best Achievement in Visual Effects
* Best Achievement in Sound
* Best Achievement in Sound Editing
* Best Original Score

Odds favor at least a few wins. In the meantime, it's worth noting that Gravity has grossed $703.9 million at the worldwide box office over more than 20 weeks in theaters. Word of mouth and premium  IMAX (IMAX 0.45%) showings seem to be driving interest, especially since only 4.9% of the film's $269.5 million in U.S. sales came after the Academy added Gravity to its list of "Best Picture" nominees.

Not that the film needed the tailwind. Cuaron's worked his magic with a $100 million budget. Figuring another $100 million for marketing and distribution puts box-office break-even at $200 million. Gravity appears to have already collected at least $350 million in profit after factoring in cinemas' 50% cut of theater ticket sales. An out-of-this-world performance Warner and investors can be proud of, Tim says.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. How do you rate Gravity'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 Time Warner stock at current prices.

Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Time Warner at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool recommends Imax. The Motley Fool owns shares of Imax. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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