Oscar nominations are a valuable endorsement--a time-proven means of filling the seats.
"An Academy Award nomination in any of four categories--best actor, best actress, best director, and most of all best picture--carries weight at the box office," observes Dick Walsh Sr., vice president of West Coast operations for AMC Theaters. "Pictures released late in the year, such as 1993's 'Schindler's List,' stand to benefit most--as do those, such as 'Shawshank Redemption,' in which the nomination is less of a foregone conclusion."
Here's a rundown of studio plans to reissue five best picture Oscar-nominated films, as well as pending home video releases:
* "Forrest Gump": Paramount will re-release this blockbuster on Friday in 1,069 theaters nationwide. The picture, which has already grossed $300 million in the United States and Canada alone, is scheduled to come out on video on April 28.
* "Four Weddings and a Funeral": Since this offbeat comedy, which took in more than $53 million at the box office, is already available on video, Gramercy Pictures has yet to make a decision about re-releasing the film.
* "Pulp Fiction": First released in the fall and still playing on more than 800 screens, the movie's $76-million gross could get a significant boost from academy validation. Miramax will increase the number of theaters on Friday to 1,000. The nomination could also accelerate the home video release, which will probably happen in April.
* "Quiz Show": Disney's Hollywood Pictures is wasting no time in milking the rewards of the nominations, re-releasing the drama in 354 theaters today. The film, though critically acclaimed, took in only $22 million during its initial run and is due out on home video on April 18.
* "The Shawshank Redemption": Castle Rock Entertainment will reissue this prison drama in exclusive engagements in Los Angeles and Manhattan on Friday before placing it on an additional 500 to 600 screens on Feb. 24. The film, which grossed a tepid $17 million the first time around, will be available on home video on April 11.