12 Years a Slave’ Goes Nationwide in Box-Office Counter Play


It won’t catch the god of thunder, but the Oscar front-runner has built momentum and will expand into about 1,100 theaters this weekend

“12 Years a Slave” opens nationwide this weekend, which means it will be going up against Disney’s Marvel superhero sequel “Thor: The Dark World” – a likely blockbuster.

The powerful slavery drama, a front-runner in the Oscar Best Picture race, shouldn’t be hurt by the “The Dark World,” which targets teens and young adults, a very different demographic target than “12 Years.” And distributor Fox Searchlight is hoping the serious, awards-contending look at American history will provide an enticing alternative for those not drawn to the Thunder God, Loki, et al.

“There is obviously some momentum being generated, fueled by good word of mouth [96 percent positive on Rotten Tomatoes] and the tremendous reviews we have been receiving,” Fox Searchlight sr. vice-president Frank Rodriguez told TheWrap. ”While we will not be a challenge to ‘Thor,’ we will, I believe, have another impressive weekend as we start to spread out across North America.”

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