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.
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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