Golden Globe nominations boost underdogs

Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:04am EST
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By Carl DiOrio

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Golden Globe nominations seldom lead to the big box-office bounce that Oscar contenders can enjoy, but positive media attention can help limited releases mount successful expansions.

Movie theater owners suddenly become more willing to free up screens to such pictures, and moviegoers take notice of smaller films that otherwise might get lost in the crowded holiday marketplace.

In the wake of Tuesday's Golden Globe nominations announcement, three best-picture nominees are particularly well positioned to bask in the afterglow:

-- Summit Entertainment on Friday will re-expand "The Hurt Locker," the Iraq War drama that drew three nominations including best director for Kathryn Bigelow, adding 81 U.S. playdates for a total of 90.

-- Paramount will use nominations for best director (Jason Reitman) and dramatic actor (George Clooney) along with best motion picture drama to market "Up in the Air" as it continues an incremental rollout of the film, which played in 72 domestic locations this past weekend. The drama, which led the field with six nominations, will open nationally on December 23.

-- The Weinstein Co. will make the most of the five nominations for "Nine" when Rob Marshall's musical opens Friday in a handful of bicoastal locations before expanding wide December 25.

Summit distribution boss Richie Fay welcomed the Globes spotlight.

"It takes what some people might call a little picture and elevates it into a bigger picture," Fay said. "It commercializes a film like 'The Hurt Locker' and brings it to the attention of more people -- which, of course, is what this business is all about."   Continued...

<p>Actor Jeremy Renner is shown in a scene from the film "The Hurt Locker" in this undated publicity photograph. REUTERS/Courtesy of Summit Entertainment/Handout</p>