In an old-fashioned publicity stunt, 20th Century Fox plans to beam The Day the Earth Stood Still to Alpha Centauri, the nearest star, via a satellite communications network in Cape Canaveral, FL. Daily Variety commented today that the stunt will result in "the widest release ever -- if you count outer space." (It noted that by the time the signal reaches the star, it will be 2012, not exactly an Earth/Alpha Centauri simultaneous premiere.) The film will also be showing on 3,550 screens domestically, including some 120 IMAX theaters. It will have little competition, with the only other wide release being the romantic comedy Nothing Like the Holidays , which will screen in 1,671 locations. On the other hand, a slew of Oscar contenders will be making their debut or will be expanding into most major markets over the weekend. And with four Golden Globe nominations, the Weinstein Co. is returning Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona to 25 theaters.
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