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12 Years a Slave: Now Playing in Theaters Again, and at Home

Chiwetel Ejiofor (right of center) in 12 Years a Slave
Chiwetel Ejiofor (right of center) in 12 Years a SlavePhotograph by Francois Duhamel/Fox Searchlight Pictures via Everett Collection

The Oscar winner for best picture, 12 Years a Slave, was released in October and had exited all but 411 movie screens before Sunday’s coronation. This weekend the film will be back in more than 1,000 theaters, as often happens with Academy Award winners, while also competing against its own box office, appearing alongside digital rentals available on Amazon.com, Apple’s iTunes, and other on-demand platforms. About the only place you won’t find 12 Years a Slave is at Netflix and Redbox, where it has an April 1 release date.

The film saw “a phenomenal bump” last weekend before the Academy Awards broadcast, with its take jumping 86 percent to $975,931. After four Oscar wins, distributor Fox Searchlight Pictures decided to give 12 Years a second life in theaters, even with the film’s availability elsewhere. “There’s more money to be made in the short run than just on the home-viewing platform,” says Phil Contrino, vice president and chief analyst at BoxOffice.com.