You hear a lot of talk by pointy-headed box office types about the coveted "Oscar bump" -- the extra bit of staying power provided by a slew of Oscar nominations. The theory is simple: people want to see good movies, and take Oscar recognition -- Best Picture in particular -- as a surefire signal that a movie is worth seeing. (Not everyone is as cynical as the rest of us.) Going on this assumption, theaters keep nominated films playing longer (or even bring them back), people are inspired to go see them, and everybody wins. But what impact does a Best Picture nomination actually have on a movie's bottom line? In an article they ran a couple days ago, Slate thinks it has the answer: $6,663,508.

The way they came up with that number is mildly eyebrow-raising. They looked at box office numbers for the four weeks before and after the Oscar nominations were announced each year, tracking both the Best Picture-nominated films and other "movies that mattered" -- movies they deemed to be "in the running," or otherwise significant. The nominees made, on average, just over $1 million more in the four weeks after the announcement than before, and the other films made, on average, just over $5 million less. Combining those numbers gave Slate their magic figure.