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In the American motion picture industry, a wide release is a motion picture that is playing nationally. This is in contrast to a film that is showing at a few cinemas (usually in New York and Los Angeles), or is in limited release at selected cinemas in larger cities around the country.

In the U.S., films holding an NC-17 rating have almost never received wide releases. Showgirls (1995) is the only film with an NC-17 rating to have a wide release.[1]

The 1975 film Breakout was the first major studio film to go into wide release in its opening week, with Columbia Pictures distributing 1300 prints nationwide, combined with a heavy national advertising campaign.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Weinraub, Bernard (21 July 1995). "First Major Film With an NC-17 Rating Is Embraced by the Studio" – via
  2. ^ Wyatt, Justin (1998). "From Roadshowing to Saturation Release: Majors, Independents, and Marketing/Distribution Innovations". In Lewis, Jon. The New American Cinema. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-2115-7, p 78

Further readingEdit

  • Dade Hayes and Jonathan Bing, Open Wide: How Hollywood Box Office Became a National Obsession, Miramax Books, 2004. (ISBN 1401352006)