Not all movie releases are created equal, particularly when it comes to the Oscars. At their widest release (i.e. the time when they were in the most amount of theaters) Boyhood, Birdman, The Theory of Everything, and Whiplash combined weren’t on as many screens as American Sniper. The average widest release for a film nominated for Best Picture this year was 1,935 theaters. For those that are not regular visitors to Box Office Mojo, that is not a whole heck of a lot. The five highest grossing movies of the year (Hunger Games, Guardians of the Galaxy, etc.) were released in an average of 3,990 theater, more than double the average for the Best Picture noms.
All that is really just a longwinded way of saying that you may not have had a great opportunity to see the movies vying for the Academy’s top prize. But several theaters that eschewed indies for big budget, mass-appealing flicks are now giving Cincinnati cinephiles (Cincinephiles?) the chance to make up their own minds ahead of the Oscars on February 22. Here are some of the ways to catch the nominees before the hardware is distributed.
Cinemark (Oakley Station and Florence)
For essentially the price of two tickets, a jumbo popcorn with extra butter, and two boxes of Buncha Crunch, you can see Oscar noms at both area Cinemark locations over one weekend or throughout the week leading up to the Oscars. Beginning Friday, February 13, each Best Picture nominee will be screened at least twice. The $40 pass gets you into every showing and includes admission to screenings of the Oscar-nominated shorts, both animated and live action. If you only missed one or two movies, regularly priced tickets are also available.
AMC (Newport and West Chester)
If you’d prefer a more consolidated approach to movie binging, AMC will split screenings of the eight nominees over the two Saturdays leading up to the Oscars. Passes are $30 for each Saturday ($60 to see all eight nominees).
Avoid the ubiquitous Twitter trolls from your couch on the night of the Academy Awards and engage instead in some good ol’ fashioned in-person snark. Esquire Theatre is hosting a watch party complete with hors d’oeuvres from La Poste and dessert from The BonBonerie. The $12 tickets are likely to sell out, so make sure to get yours early to ensure a chance to snicker with friends at NPH’s inevitable musical number.