Weinstein Co says no plans to cut "Nine" screens

Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:28pm EST
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The studio behind the star-studded musical "Nine" said it has no plans at this time to pull the movie out of any theaters after disappointing box office and lackluster reviews.

The Weinstein Company said that "Nine" would play in 1,412 screens in the United States this coming weekend, the same number as last weekend.

"At this moment in time there has been no plan between us nor the theater chains that we deal with to cut any theaters," David Glasser, an operations executive for the independent Weinstein Company told Reuters on Wednesday.

"We are going to hold our theaters as planned. The movie is working."

Glasser told Reuters on Tuesday that the movie was performing very well on about 890 key screens but not as strongly in some smaller cities. He said the studio expected "Nine" to perform well in the weeks ahead.

"Nine" was one of the most anticipated movies of the year and cost an estimated $64 million to produce. But it finished eighth at the North American box office on its second week last weekend with a modest $5.5 million in ticket sales.

The poor showing came despite five Golden Globe nominations for the Federico Fellini-inspired song and dance spectacular whose cast includes Oscar winners Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Sophia Loren, Judi Dench and Nicole Kidman.

Harvey Weinstein, who earlier this year sought restructuring advice for his cash-strapped independent Weinstein Company, has long made a strategy of turning awards show buzz into box office success.

Movie industry watchers had expected "Nine" to finish in the top five over the Christmas holiday weekend in a crowded field that included action films "Avatar" and "Sherlock Holmes."   Continued...

<p>Actresses Fergie (R) and Penelope Cruz (2nd L), stars of director Rob Marshall's new film "Nine", pose with Marshall (2nd R) and producer and choreographer John Deluca at a special screening of the film in Los Angeles, California, December 9, 2009. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>