3 Reasons Why 'Slumdog Millionaire' is Guaranteed a Best Picture Oscar Nod If or when the U.S. Treasury stumbles too badly to stop America's slide into recession, we'll always have Fox Searchlight to bail us out. The mini-major had another specialty smash last weekend with Slumdog Millionaire , the Mumbai-based genre-bender whose $35,043 per-screen average was the fourth best of any film this year, trailing The Dark Knight by less than $1,300 per location. And if a quick scan of the Searchlight record tells us anything, the numbers will continue to astound — and they portend even better things for the Oscar race.With critical raves in part pushing it to a $416,000 opening since last Wednesday, Slumdog is Searchlight's fifth best opening average in the last five years. The three titles just above it: 2007: Juno ($59,124 per screen; $143.5 million cumulative gross) 2006: Little Miss Sunshine ($52,999 per screen; $59.9 million cumulative) 2004: Sideways ($51,760 per screen; $71.5 million cumulative) All of which went on to earn Oscar nominations for Best Picture, and all of which won for Best Screenplay. Of course I Heart Huckabees trumped them all with $73,044 per screen , and we all know how that turned out . Still! Clear spots in your Oscar pools, and let the Obama transition team know where they'll find the real economic stimulus. You can thank us later.