'The Iron Lady' Eyes Major Expansion on Eve of Golden Globes

Meryl Streep Iron Lady - H 2011
The Weinstein Company

Meryl Streep Iron Lady - H 2011

The specialty pic is among a number of films hoping to ride the wave of awards attention from Globes and Oscar nominations.

Meryl Streep-starrer The Iron Lady makes a major push on Friday -- two days before the Golden Globes ceremony -- expanding from five theaters to more than 800.

For years, distributors have used the Globes and Academy Awards to try and boost a specialty film's box office standing. Oscars count far more than the Globes, and that's why a number of titles that have been holding back will begin seriously expanding over the next two weeks, timed to the announcement of Oscar nominations on Jan. 24.

Iron Lady, directed by Phyllida Lloyd and distributed by the Weinstein Co., is getting a jump on the action. The British film, about Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, has been doing good business in the five theaters where it's played the past two weeks, grossing $525,000 so far and posting strong location averages. Streep is up for a Globe for best actress in a drama.

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Another film expanding on Friday is Roman Polanski's Carnage, which ups its theater count from six theaters to 494. Sony Pictures Classics is releasing the film domestically, where it has earned $531,000 to date. Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet each nabbed Globe nominations for best actress in a comedy or musical.

On Jan. 20, both The Artist -- an awards frontrunner -- and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close expand. The Artist, also from the Weinstein Co., will be playing in roughly 500 theaters (it's now playing in 172 locations). The black-and-white silent film scored a number of top Globe nominations, and has earned $7.3 million to date.

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Extremely Loud, from Warner Bros., will likely up its theater count from six to more than 1,200. It's made $521,000 to date.

On Jan. 27, The Descendants makes a sizeable push as well. The Fox Searchlight film has already been playing in more than 700 theaters, grossing north of $44 million to date. The pic, also an awards frontrunner, will be playing in more than 1,200 theaters as of Jan. 27.

Two other films expanding on Jan. 27th are Roadside Attractions' Albert Nobbs and Sony Pictures Classics' A Dangerous Method, which has earned $2.1 million to date (Albert Nobbs has only played in an awards qualifying run).