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The Academy tends to stray a bit from the art-house when it nominates films for Best Picture, famously seeing artsy-but-classic films like 2001: A Spacey Odyssey, Vertigo, Mulholland Drive and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind not wind up with nominations. On the other hand, they don’t often delve too far into the blockbuster realm, as formidable films like The Dark Knight and The Empire Strikes Back went without a chance at winning Best Picture.

But that’s not always the case. Sometimes the Oscars line up perfectly in sync with the goings-on of the box office. With Skyfall and The Dark Knight Rises both cracking into the ten 10 highest grossing films of all time, 2013 could’ve been a great year to add to this list. But, alas, it was not so.

Either way, let’s look at the top 10 highest grossing films ever nominated for Best Picture. Some might just take you by surprise.

 

10. Life of Pi – $576 million

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This year’s version of Avatar, Ang Lee’s Life of Pi has managed to make a shocking $576 million dollars at the box office worldwide. And while the film has little chance of winning Best Picture (and more importantly, is not the best picture), it’s refreshing to see the Academy throw a bone to a director taking a chance on remarkable luminescent visuals.

 

9. The Sixth Sense – $672 million

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Though many will disagree, this is the only great film M. Night Shyamalan has ever made. Unbreakable had some redeeming qualities, and Signs started strong and ultimately fell flat. Everything since has been verging on a disaster or redefined the word. And casting Mark Wahlberg doesn’t help matters.

But The Sixth Sense managed to so perfectly capture the imaginations of moviegoers worldwide that it’s become the highest grossing horror film of all time. Unless you count watching Kristen Stewart trying to play sexy as horror.

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This article was first posted on February 20, 2013