'12 Years a Slave' Oscar Wins Boost Book Sales
Beyond the big screen, best picture winner 12 Years a Slave is getting a post-Oscar bump — for the book it was based on.
The 19th-century memoir by ex-slave Solomon Northup jumped from No. 326 on Amazon.com before Sunday night's Academy Awards ceremony to No. 19 on Monday afternoon.
Directed by Steve McQueen, 12 Years picked up two other two Oscars Sunday night. Lupita Nyong'o won best actress, and John Ridley won for best adapted screenplay. It was the first film directed by a black person to win for best picture.
The book and the movie tell of how the free-born black Northup was kidnapped and forced into slavery. Thanks to the movie's success, interest in the book has been revived and public high schools are starting to add it to course lists.
Additionally, 12 Years will make a major expansion in U.S. theaters this Friday — Fox Searchlight will be playing the movie in more than 1,000 theaters — even though the slavery drama comes out on DVD Tuesday. Generally, theater owners don't like to play films when they are out on DVD, but in the case of an Academy Award winner for best picture, exhibitors often make an exception.