Oscars 2015: Where to watch the best picture contenders

The eight films contending for the Academy Award for best picture were unveiled Thursday, giving moviegoers five weeks to catch up before the Oscars on Feb. 22. Here's a rundown of where — and in a few cases, how — you can see them.

"American Sniper"


Clint Eastwood's biographical drama starring Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, the late Navy SEAL known as the most lethal sharpshooter in U.S. military history, opened in limited release on Christmas. Today kicks off its wide release in about 3,500 theaters, and the film is targeting a $50-million take over the long holiday weekend.


With former "Batman" star Michael Keaton donning superhero garb once more, this time in a very different black-comedy context for director Alejandro G. Inarritu, "Birdman" first swooped into theaters in October. This weekend it's playing in more than 450 theaters, a number set to double next weekend.


First released in July, Richard Linklater's coming-of-age opus has slowly but steadily picked up steam as an Oscar frontrunner. It's still in theaters, expanding to 100 screens nationwide this weekend and possibly adding more next week. The film is also available on home video.

"The Grand Budapest Hotel"

Wes Anderson's caper about an unflappable concierge (Ralph Fiennes) trying to clear his name was the first of this year's best-picture contenders to hit theaters, way back in March. This weekend marks its return to the big screen, in more than 17 cities, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas and Washington, D.C. The film is also available on home video.

"The Imitation Game"

Morten Tyldum's World War II drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the genius mathematician and codebreaker Alan Turing bowed in November and is playing in 1,611 theaters. It will expand further next weekend.


The first major film to focus on Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo), Ava DuVernay's civil-rights drama debuted on Christmas in limited release before going wide last week. This weekend it's playing in 2,23 theaters.

"The Theory of Everything"


James Marsh's fact-based romance about the famed cosmologist Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) and first wife Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones) has charmed moviegoers since November. As of Thursday, it was playing in about 400 theaters.


Backed by supporting actor nominee J.K. Simmons as a domineering music teacher, "Whiplash" has drummed up strong reviews since opening in October. It's currently playing in about 200 theaters nationwide and will expand next week.

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