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Coming Back to a Theater Near You (Yes, the Nominees)

Movies: Hoping to capitalize on the Oscar publicity, studios have plans for re-release or expansion to more screens.


Studios hoping to capitalize on the cachet of an Oscar nomination often re-release films that came out early in the year and alter plans for video release.

"The Oscar nominations just give an extra boost of awareness," said Evan Fong, executive director of publicity for MCA/Universal Home Video.

This year is an unusual one: Four of the five best picture candidates premiered during the summer. Here's a look at re-release and video plans:

* "Braveheart": Though it opened in May and played through the summer and was later re-released in September, the Mel Gibson movie will be released yet again Friday on about 800 screens. It is also scheduled for a home video release March 12. The film has made $67 million domestically and worldwide about $175 million.

* "Apollo 13": This film about the imperiled Apollo mission was released in June and then in November on home video, but it will be re-released for a theatrical engagement in Los Angeles starting Friday and in New York on March 1. To date, it has grossed $172 million domestically and $170 million internationally.

* "Babe": The fanciful fable of a talking pig who learns to herd sheep is currently in 273 theaters, and has not been out of theaters since its August release. It will expand to as many as 1,000 theaters on Feb. 23 and is scheduled for home video release on March 22. Its domestic take is about $58 million.

* "Sense and Sensibility": The Jane Austen story about love lost and found, written by and starring Emma Thompson, debuted in December and expanded last Friday to 952 screens. It will go up to about 1,050 this Friday. Its home video release is planned for June. The film has grossed about $24 million domestically.

* "The Postman (Il Postino)": The five-nominee movie made in Italy was re-released last month and is in 75 theaters, after debuting in about 25. The movie will likely expand on Friday to more than 150 screens, Miramax officials say, and probably expand further in the coming weeks. The movie was originally scheduled for a home video release in April, but it has been delayed for a summer release. It has made $33 million worldwide.

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