‘Crash’ rides Oscar’s wave

Best pic revs up for bigscreen encore

After winning the best pic Oscar, Lionsgate will re-release “Crash” theatrically starting Friday on about 150 screens in the U.S.

Overseas distribs are also moving toward a re-release, with Pathe Intl. putting “Crash” back into theaters in the U.K. on Friday as well.

However, since the pic has been available on DVD in the U.S. since September, big grosses are not expected. For one, some of the major chains, including Regal, AMC and Century as a policy don’t play pics that are also available on homevid.

“It will be playing open-ended to see what kind of box office it generates,” said Lionsgate distrib topper Steve Rothenberg. “But, you know, it’s been on DVD for a while.”

“Crash” grossed nearly $54 million domestically when it was released in May. In Blighty, it generated $10.3 million of its $30 million overseas gross, after it was released on Aug. 12. Pic is already available on DVD in that territory as well.

Past history shows that best pic doesn’t turn into boffo results for pics already on DVD, however.

For example, “Gladiator” had grossed $187 million during its initial run starting in May 2000. The DVD was released in November of that year, but with Oscar buzz building, DreamWorks put it back into theaters shortly before the awards ceremony.

Biz was tepid. Though the Roman epic brought in just $456,732 from 577 screens on the weekend following the Academy ceremony. Its total cume for its re-release was barely above $1 million.