How ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ Stands Out in Box Office History

Scorsese’s Cinematic Triumph Yet Again

Martin Scorsese, the maestro behind many cinema classics, has given us another gem to cherish. “Killers of the Flower Moon” has not only garnered applause for its gripping narrative but also surpassed a significant box office landmark, joining the elite league of Scorsese’s high grossers. Set against the backdrop of the 1920s in Oklahoma, the movie delves into the mysterious murders of the Osage nation members following a lucrative oil discovery on their territory.

Featuring a star-studded cast with the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone, Jesse Plemons, and others, the movie’s draw was undeniable. The collaboration between DiCaprio and Scorsese has always been electric, and “Killers of the Flower Moon” was no exception.

“Per Deadline, the Killers of the Flower Moon box office has earned $102.1 million worldwide as of Thursday. This makes it only the ninth of Scorsese’s 26 narrative features to pass the $100 million milestone.”

How the Box Office Numbers Stack Up

It’s an honor for any director to have one film that passes the $100 million mark. For Scorsese, this is his ninth venture to do so. To understand the weight of this achievement, let’s glance at the gross numbers of his past successes in below table.

The list goes on, with hits like “Casino”, “The Aviator”, and “The Wolf of Wall Street”, each telling a tale of remarkable global reception, some even having their international earnings exceed their domestic ones by over 100%.

However, when we focus on “Killers of the Flower Moon,” the figures narrate a different story:

Domestic Gross
International Gross
Difference Between International and Domestic

Cape Fear
$79 million
$103.2 million
30% more

$42.5 million
$73 million
71% more

Gangs of New York
$77.8 million
$115.9 million
49% more

The Aviator
$102.6 million
$111.1 million
8% more

The Departed
$132.4 million
$159 million
20% more

Shutter Island
$128 million
$166.8 million
30% more

$73.9 million
$111.9 million
51% more

The Wolf of Wall Street
$116.9 million
$275.1 million
135% more

Killers of the Flower Moon
$45.3 million
$56.8 million
25% more


Challenges & The Road Ahead

Despite the roaring applause and the box office success, “Killers of the Flower Moon” has a mountain to climb. With a production budget soaring over $200 million, the break-even point seems distant, especially with the impending holiday season releases like “The Marvels” and “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”, which are sure to give stiff competition.

The comparative earnings of Scorsese’s previous films suggest a strong international reception, often eclipsing their domestic figures. But, “Killers of the Flower Moon”, with its distinctly American setting, seems to be walking a different path, with international numbers only slightly outpacing domestic earnings.

The Silver Lining

While the theatrical returns might not soar as high as some of Scorsese’s past masterpieces, the real game-changer could be its digital debut. With a release slated for Apple TV+, the streaming revenues and a potential surge in subscribers hoping to catch the masterpiece could offset the production costs. Moreover, as the 2024 awards season approaches, a few nominations (or wins) could further boost its viewership.

In the grand tapestry of Scorsese’s illustrious career, “Killers of the Flower Moon”, with its box office milestone, reiterates one fact – the maestro knows how to tell a story that resonates, regardless of the numbers.

How ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ Stands Out in Box Office History