In the hours since the Oscar nominations, Fandango already is reporting 50% higher ticket sales than what would be expected on an average ticketing day for Oscar Best Picture front-runner La La Land. Meanwhile Paramount Pictures will see the number of theaters playing its Best Picture Oscar nominee Arrival increase from 180 theaters to 1,100 this weekend. And A24 is launching its Oscar nine-times nominated film Moonlight into its widest point of release with 1,000 theaters.
This all comes as distributors start jockeying to capitalize on their Oscar nominations. TWC’s Lion will up the ante as well, planning to roll out the weekend of February 3 to 1,800-plus as the mad dash is on for everyone to grab as many screens as they can.
La La Land has had a steady-as-she-goes release strategy from its distributor Lionsgate in order to build anticipation and a must-see perception of the film. With a record-tying 14 Oscar nominations, La La Land is expected to further its expansion this weekend as exhibitors have been clamoring for the film, which now sits at $90.4M and easily will dance cross $100M.
Likewise, the re-release of Arrival could push the sci-fi film over the $100M mark domestically as it has grossed $95.7M after last weekend. At least the studio will push it to get there.
For Arrival, with its eight nominations, Paramount will use the re-release of the film to include exclusive bonus footage from director Denis Villeneuve, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and other cast and filmmakers. The bonus features, which the studio said can only be seen in theaters, will shed insight on the filmmaking process and creative vision behind the story. The film has earned more than $170M globally since November.
Lion woke up this morning to six nominations including for Best Picture, Supporting Actress (for Nicole Kidman) and Supporting Actor (Dev Patel), Adapted Screenplay and Cinematography. The film has been in limited play and last weekend was in 575 theaters. It has grossed $16.3M through last weekend.
Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight — dancing with nine noms including for its both directing and writing for Barry Jenkins and for Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali has been smartly distributed by A24, starting in limited release allowing positive word-of-mouth to carry it through. And carry it, it has to a whopping $15.8M since first releasing on October 1.