Low-cost contenders vie to bring home Oscar gold on a budget

Low-cost contenders vie to bring home Oscar gold on a budget

Arrival

PRODUCERS: Dan Levine, Shawn Levy, David Linde

STARS: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker

STUDIO: Paramount Pictures

BUDGET: $47 million

GLOBAL BOX OFFICE*: $146 million

THE MONEY: Independent financiers FilmNation and LavaBear funded the film, which topped $100 million in global box office in just one month. Screenwriter Eric Heisserer received the Writers Guild of America minimum of around $100,000 for his screenplay, but got an executive producer credit.

SUMMARY: An expert linguist leads a team of scientists desperate to communicate with alien visitors.

NOMINATIONS: 8

AWARDS: American Film Institute Movie of the Year

OSCAR BUZZ: Few critics believe “Arrival” can stand up to favorites “La La Land” and “Moonlight,” but best actress nominee Adams might sneak away with a win.

Fences

PRODUCERS: Todd Black, Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington

STARS: Washington, Viola Davis, Mykelti Williamson

STUDIO: Paramount Pictures

BUDGET: $24 million

GLOBAL BOX OFFICE*: $49 million (U.S. only)

THE MONEY: Canadian money is behind this American story. Wells Asset Management, based in Lloydminster, Alberta, jumped into the movie biz to provide some of the financing, which President Dale Wells called a no-brainer.

SUMMARY: Adapted from August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play set in the 1950s, an embittered sanitation worker denied his chance at becoming a pro baseball player discourages his son’s football career.

NOMINATIONS: 4

AWARDS: 1 Golden Globe, 2 Screen Actors Guild

OSCAR BUZZ: Perhaps because of its theater roots, this one gets more buzz for actor awards than its best picture chances.

Hacksaw Ridge

PRODUCERS: Bill Mechanic, David Permut, Terry Benedict

STARS: Andrew Garfield, Vince Vaughn, Sam Worthington

STUDIO: Lions Gate

BUDGET: $40 million

GLOBAL BOX OFFICE*: $149 million

THE MONEY: Permut has said it took WWII story “Hacksaw Ridge,” directed by Mel Gibson, 16 years to make it to the screen. It was funded in part by Kylin Pictures International, which has financed many Asian productions.

SUMMARY: The true story of medic Desmond T. Doss, the first conscientious objector to win the Congressional Medal of Honor for saving soldiers during the Battle of Okinawa.

NOMINATIONS: 6

AWARDS: 11 Australian Film Institute

OSCAR BUZZ: Between mixed reviews and the unpopularity of director Gibson with the Hollywood community, this one’s a long shot for best picture.

Hell or High Water

PRODUCERS: Peter Berg, Carla Hacken, Sidney Kimmel, Julie Yorn

STARS: Ben Foster, Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges

STUDIO: Lions Gate, CBS Films

BUDGET: $12 million

GLOBAL BOX OFFICE*: $27 million

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