Wide release

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In the American motion picture industry, a wide release (short for nationwide release) is a motion picture that is playing nationally. This is in contrast to a film that is showing at a few cinemas (usually in New York City and Los Angeles), or is in limited release at selected cinemas in larger cities around the country. Box Office Mojo considers 600 or more theaters to be a wide release.[1]

In the United States, films holding an NC-17 rating have almost never received wide releases. Showgirls (1995) is the only film with an NC-17 rating to have a wide release.[2]

The 1975 film Breakout was the first major studio film to go into wide release in its opening week, with Columbia Pictures distributing 1300 prints nationwide, combined with a heavy national advertising campaign.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Key Terminology. Box Office Mojo.
  2. ^ Weinraub, Bernard (21 July 1995). "First Major Film With an NC-17 Rating Is Embraced by the Studio" – via NYTimes.com.
  3. ^ Wyatt, Justin (1998). "From Roadshowing to Saturation Release: Majors, Independents, and Marketing/Distribution Innovations". In Lewis, Jon. The New American Cinema. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-2115-7, p 78

Further reading[edit]

  • Dade Hayes and Jonathan Bing, Open Wide: How Hollywood Box Office Became a National Obsession, Miramax Books, 2004. (ISBN 1401352006)