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.
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.
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- 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