January 24, 2014 12:32am PT by Scott Feinberg
Bolstered by Major Oscar Noms, Focus Takes 'Dallas Buyers Club' Wide
In the wake of last week's Oscar nominations, Focus Features is feeling bullish about Dallas Buyers Club's prospects at the box-office and will greatly expand its theatrical release this weekend, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The drama about the early days of the AIDS epidemic, which began its rollout at nine locations back on Nov. 1, played at 734 at its peak over the Dec. 6-8 weekend and 419 last weekend, but will go wide to 1,110 starting today.
Jean-Marc Vallee's low-budget film outperformed the greatest expectations of most pundits when the Academy recognized the film with noms for not only its lead actor (Matthew McConaughey) and supporting actor (Jared Leto), but also for best picture, best original screenplay (Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack), best film editing (Vallee, under the pseudonym of John Mac McMurphy, and Martin Pensa) and best makeup (Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews). McConaughey and Leto have already won the Golden Globe, Critics' Choice and SAG awards in their respective categories, making them the clear favorites to take home Oscars, as well.
"The critical and audience response to the film has been powerful," a Focus spokesperson told THR on Thursday. "The Golden Globe, Critics Choice and SAG awards for both Matthew and Jared, along with the six Academy awards nominations, including best picture, is a true testament to the notion of not giving up on a story you believe in. The journey to bring this film to the screen is truly a labor of love and something we are proud to share with an even bigger audience this weekend."