The Oscars are just a few months away, and a number of films have emerged as favorites to have a big night at the awards ceremony on February 26. Generally speaking, Oscar-hopefuls are released late in the year so they are fresh in the mind of Oscar voters, and this year is no exception with top movies like Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea debuting over the past couple months. And of the Oscar hopefuls this year, the biggest is definitely La La Land, but is La La Land still in theaters?
If you haven't yet seen the movie that took the Golden Globes by storm, winning all seven awards for which it was nominated, then you're in luck. La La Land is still playing nationwide, thanks to a cleverly-timed release that seems tailor-made to receive the traditional "Oscar bump" at the box office which Best Picture winners are often blessed with (many times, a little-seen film that does well at the Academy Awards will see an increase in box office performance as a result). The movie first debuted in August at the Venice Film Festival, where it was immediately recognized as an Oscar-contender. From there, it continued to build its awards season buzz by screening at several other film festivals.
After its festival tour, the movie began an extremely slow theater release as its mystique grew even more. It debuted in just five theaters on Dec. 9, which was expanded to 200 theaters on Dec. 16 — still a minuscule amount. On Christmas Day, the movie expanded to a nationwide audience, with over 700 theaters, and it was just on January 6 that the film expanded again to a full "wide" release of about 1,500 theaters. Still ahead are an IMAX release, and some international markets like the U.K. But if the movie hasn't come to your local theater yet, don't worry, there's still plenty of room for expansion.
In its first wide release on the weekend of Jan. 6, La La Land finished in fifth place in the box office — despite the fact that it's still only playing in 1,515 theaters nationwide. By comparison, Rogue One, the top movie of the weekend, is showing in 4,157 theaters. But after its Golden Globes performance, and the Oscar buzz it's receiving, La La Land will likely see its theater count continue to climb throughout the months of January and February.
So if you haven't seen La La Land yet, you're not in any immediate danger of missing it. The movie's slow rollout and awards season success mean that it should have a strong presence in movie theaters for some time to come.