There has been a lot of talk lately about the value of an Academy Award. We told you last week that if Natalie Portman wins the Oscar for Best Actress, her market value is expected to increase by at least 20%. But is she worth it? Do movies with Academy Award winners and nominees actually do better at the box office than films starring folks the Academy ignores?

The value of using a former winner or nominee in a future project may be inflated.

In fact, when it comes to box office gross, having a former winner or nominee can be a bit of a crapshoot.

In 2010, 85% of the top twenty grossing movies for the year (with grosses provided by BoxOfficeMojo.com) contained at least one Academy-Award nominee. 40% of those top twenty contained at least one Academy-Award winner.