Warner pic goes wide just before its nomination

Likely one of the biggest box office beneficiaries of this year’s nine best picture Oscar nominees, Warner Bros.’ “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” kick-started its nationwide B.O. run over the Jan. 20-22 frame with a respectable $10 million.

The pic, which had been limited to six locations since bowing Dec. 23, expanded to more than 2,600 engagements in its fifth outing, just five days before receiving two Oscar bids for pic and supporting actor for Max von Sydow.

The pic has cumed $12.4 million domestically as of Jan. 24, the day of the Oscar announcement.

Directed by Stephen Daldry and based on the 2005 novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, pic tells the story of a young boy who, after his father dies during the Sept. 11 World Trade Center attacks, embarks on a journey of redemption and self-discovery. Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock star as the boy’s parents.

Though the film has divided critics, Stateside audiences gave the film a highly favorable exit poll rating. The film also has drawn a diverse crowd, with some of its highest-grossing theaters in top markets like Dallas and Atlanta. (L.A. still ranked as the film’s biggest overall market in the U.S.)

Warner distribution exec Jeff Goldstein says the distrib doesn’t plan to expand “Loud” beyond its existing count. But the film’s dual Oscar mentions should help it retain most of those locations over the next few weeks — that is, if auds continue to show up.

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