Why Universal Is Not Rushing Ron Howard’s ‘Rush’ Into Theaters

Originally posted on Variety:

Oscar-winning director? Check. Rising Hollywood star? Check. Plenty of studio marketing muscle? Excellent early reviews? Check, check.

Ron Howard’s Formula One racing movie “Rush” certainly has the high-profile elements to warrant a nationwide theatrical blowout. Yet, Universal, the distributor-for-hire on the film, has opted to open the Chris Hemsworth starrer at just five Stateside locations Friday before going wide next weekend.

The limited release, which should result in a sizable and therefore brag-worthy opening per-screen average, is meant to help lift the film’s profile for Stateside audiences. The platform bow also avoids a head-to-head battle with Warner Bros.’ similarly adult-targeted “Prisoners,” which is expected to win the weekend with $18 million-$20 million in wide release.

VIDEO: Chris Hemsworth, Olivia Wilde on Their New “Rush”

If “Rush” doesn’t perform to expectations at its five opening locations (the five largest in the country), however, Universal will have provided other exhibitors with little…

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