The Envelope had an interesting article on whether box office affects a picture's chances of winning. They focus on The Hurt Locker (which is doing okay, but is more a critic's darling so far) and Nine (which is not doing well, at least in smaller locales). The premise in the article is a bit off, though, for the Hurt Locker. It was never that likely that Hurt Locker would win best picture, but only be nominated, and it's not because of box office. I do think the Academy members are looking for something a little lighter this year (Up in the Air). The Hurt Locker will be nominated, which shouldn't be hurt by it's box office. Nine is something else. No one really expected The Hurt Locker to be a blockbuster at the box office, but people did for Nine and so it's poor showing could have an effect on voters. At the same time, this is a Weinstein property and never count out the Weinsteins. If the general public isn't spending a lot of money on it, but the Academy viewers like it when they see it, it could still get nominations. And the Weinsteins are brilliant at getting people to see their films (rumor has it that if you are in a retreat in the Himalayas, they will hunt you down and show you the film). So, Nine still has a chance, but it is getting a bit dimmer.