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Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire was the runaway commercial hit of 2009 in the United States, nominated for ten Oscars and bagging eight of these, including Best Picture and Best Director. Also included in its trophy bag arc seven British Academy Film awards, all four of the Golden Globe awards for which it was nominated, and five Critics' Choice awards. Viewers and critics alike attribute the film's unexpected popularity at the box office to its universal underdog theme: A kid from the slums of Mumbai makes it to the game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire and wins not only the money but also the girl. A distribution strategy of slow release building on word-of-mouth may also have worked in the film's favor. It is likely, too, that the current dismal state of the US and global economy played to the film's success, for 2009 was the year in which high numbers of financially strapped consumers took themselves into theaters to lose their woes. But the film's success was not a foregone conclusion. Indeed, at om: point, Warner Bros., owner of the rights to the film, felt it was more advisable to avoid an American release altogether and go directly to DVD. Yet, when all was said and done, a film that cost $15 million to make grossed close to half a billion dollars worldwide (Box Office Mojo).


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