Oscars 2014: '12 Years a Slave' plans theatrical expansion following Best Picture win

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Image Credit: Francois Duhamel

Haven’t caught Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave in theaters yet? You may be in luck.

Steve McQueen’s riveting drama has been in theaters for 20 weeks, but after Sunday’s big win, Fox Searchlight is planning to push it out to over 1,000 theaters this weekend.

It’s an unconventional move — especially considering the fact that the film will be available on DVD starting Tuesday — but there could be a market still hoping for the theatrical experience now that the Academy has anointed the film the best of the year (in addition to its wins for Best Supporting Actress and Best Screenplay).

Made for nearly $20 million, 12 Years a Slave has netted an estimated $50.3 million domestically in its 20-week run. Its theater count has fluctuated throughout — from a 19-theater debut, to a 1,474-theater high — and 12 Years looked to be on its way out till it scored the Best Picture nomination in January.

Interest is clearly still there too: This past weekend, sales spiked nearly 86.8 percent as audiences flocked to 411 theaters to see the film before the Oscars. Analysts are predicting the film could get a respectable $2 million to $3 million bump from the expansion.

Overseas, the film has grossed an estimated $89.9 million, with $29.2 million coming from the U.K. and $11.5 million from France, according to BoxOfficeMojo.

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