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Oscar-winning filmmaker Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers is hoping to feast at the 2023 Thanksgiving box office.
The period dramedy — reuniting the filmmaker with his Sideways star Paul Giamatti — will first launch in a handful of theaters Nov. 10 before opening nationwide on Nov. 22, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Focus Features announced Thursday.
Specialty distributors such as Focus employ rollout releases to build word of mouth.
The Thanksgiving corridor is one of the most lucrative stretches of the year in terms of box office traffic. In addition to big event pics, it’s also a favorite time to debut potential awards fare (such as The Holdovers).
From a screenplay by David Hemingson, The Holdovers stars Giamatti as a curmudgeonly instructor at a posh New England prep school who is forced to remain on campus during Christmas break 1970 to babysit a handful of students with nowhere to go. He forms an unlikely bond with a brainy trouble-making student (played by newcomer Dominic Sessa), as well as with the school’s head cook (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), who has just lost a son in Vietnam.
Focus acquired rights to The Holdovers in September from Miramax when the project was shopped to buyers during the Toronto Film Festival. Focus will release in the U.S. Universal Pictures International will handle distribution duties overseas.
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