Sony bringing 'Moneyball,' 'Ides' and 'Paris' back this weekend

With a lack of new releases at this weekend’s box office, a few studios are hoping to take advantage of the opportunity to relaunch titles that have either left theaters or are playing mostly second-run houses. Not surprisingly, some of the titles getting a fresh push are looking for traction in the year-end kudos jockeying.

Sony plans to re-release “Moneyball” and “The Ides of March” at more than 1,000 locations each on Friday. And the studio’s Sony Classics arm plans to expand “Midnight in Paris” from 41 playdates to 305.

Fox Searchlight plans to give its “The Tree of Life” a one-week relaunch at Laemmle’s Music Hall theater in Beverly Hills starting Dec. 9. “Tree,” which cumed $13.3 million, hit DVD shelves late September.

Warner Bros. also is considering re-releasing “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2″ at a few locations in New York and Los Angeles, though the pic is already out on homevideo. Warners is pushing hard for “Potter” in the awards arena; the film is this year’s highest-grossing domestic release so far with $381 million.

“Midnight in Paris,” which scored a pair of Spirit Award noms on Tuesday, is getting its second major relaunch since its May 20 bow. The film has grossed $55 million to date and is slated for a Dec. 20 release on homevideo.

Sony’s “Moneyball,” which nabbed lead actor and screenplay nods from the New York Film Critics Circle, played last weekend at 187 Stateside engagements; “Ides of March” had 159. “Moneyball” enters its 11th frame with a cume of $73.2 million; “Ides” has tallied nearly $40 million after its eighth week.

“I think that both films were fan favorites this fall,” said Sony prexy of worldwide distribution Rory Bruer. “We had an opportunity to bring them back prior to the Christmas rush, and exhibitors agreed with us.”

Bruer said expansion plans for the pics had been in the works for awhile, but acknowledged that the timing was opportune for the studio as it positions its awards contenders.

Weekend expectations aren’t incredibly high for the Sony relaunches. But an absence of wide releases — Fox Searchlight’s limited release of “Shame” is the only notable new entry — still bodes well for the market’s holdovers.

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