“Moonlight” made a big stir at the Oscars on Sunday night, winning Best Picture against the overwhelming frontrunner, “La La Land,” and doing so in dramatic fashion: presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were given the wrong envelope and mistakenly announced “La La Land” as the winner instead. Now “Moonlight’s” distributor A24 is hoping to capitalize on the film’s unexpected triumph with a wide theatrical release.
Our sister site Deadline reports that after 20 weeks in release “Moonlight” will expand to more than 1,500 theaters, which is bigger than the post-Oscars expansions for previous Best Picture winners “Birdman” (2014) and “Spotlight” (2015). To date, “Moonlight” is one of the lowest grossing Best Picture winners with $22 million at the domestic box office to date, but considering its production budget of a mere $1.5 million it could become one of the most profitable. The critically acclaimed indie film has also started opening overseas, where it has performed well.
“Moonlight” takes place over three time periods and tells the story of a young gay man coming of age in Miami, where he struggles against homophobia, poverty and his mother’s drug addiction. In addition to winning Best Picture it also won Oscars for Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney). So if you missed your chance to see it on the big screen, now you’ve got a second chance.