EXCLUSIVE: On January 18, The Weinstein Company will broaden the release of Silver Linings Playbook to between 2500 and 3000 screens, I’ve confirmed through Harvey Weinstein himself. That will certainly give the David O Russell pic an awareness boost if it is among the films lucky enough to be called out for Best Picture and other Oscar nominations this Thursday.
There has been speculation that the film would broaden after it was platformed November 16 and widened to 750 screens on Christmas. Weinstein told me the film now has things going for it that weren’t there before–the availability of its core cast.
“This is a very unusual distribution pattern for us, but Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Bob De Niro and Jacki Weaver were all off making movies and not available to us,” he said. “Bradley finished The Hangover III Friday night, Jennifer is back from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Bob is back from Last Vegas and Jacki is back from making her film in Australia. There is no point in going wide until you have your guys available. But if you have good word of mouth, we think you can wait, and navigate through the system as these other films get played out.”
Weinstein said he expects the film’s box office to grow as Silver Linings Playbook runs through March. “We’ll get to $40 million before we widen, and if we’ve gotten that far on 745 screens, I do think we can get to $100 million,” he said. Weinstein said that the sophisticated subject matter of Silver Linings Playbook, which stars Cooper as a bipolar divorcee and Lawrence as a widow with her own issues, has skewed the film toward a solidly adult audience so far. He thinks that the increased presence of Lawrence, who hosts Saturday Night Live on January 19, “will help the film cross over to younger females. While the film has serious overtones, it is at its core a triumphant comedy that is fun.”
Will the momentum give the film a chance to further Weinstein’s streak of back to back Best Picture winners in The King’s Speech and The Artist? The boost in awareness certainly won’t hurt on that front. Weinstein also has Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained in the Best Picture mix.