- Wide release
Wide release is a term in the American
motion pictureindustry for a motion picture that is playing nationally (as opposed to a few cinemas in cities such as New York and Los Angeles) and on 600 screens or more in the United States and Canada. A very wide release would be 2000 or more theaters, a saturation release: 2500 or more theaters, and a super saturation release: over 3000 theaters
In the US films for adults only (NC-17 rating) almost never have a wide release, except as an edited R-rated version: "
Showgirls" has been the only one.
The term is sometimes used informally in relative terms. For example, a documentary or
art filmpromoter might speak of a film expanding from a few New York and Los Angeles screens to cinemas in major cities across the U.S. as moving into "wide release" even though it might be playing on a single screen in as few as 15 or 20 major cities.
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