The creative team behind Moonlight is doubtlessly still reeling from their Oscar upset – as well as the chaos that embroiled on stage when the Best Picture category was announced – but beginning this week the film will become a lot more available to moviegoers across the United States. A24 Films, the distributor behind the critically acclaimed 3-time Oscar winner, will expand the Barry Jenkins-directed feature into at least 1,500 theaters across the country following its unexpected Oscar victory.
The moving drama tells the three-part story of a young, sexually conflicted African-American man coming-of-age in the outskirts of Miami. The film – only the second feature helmed by Jenkins, following the warmly-received, if little seen, Medicine for Melancholy (2008) – featuring a cast of rising talents including Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders, Alex R. Hibbert as well as Janelle Monae (Hidden Figures), Andre Holland (The Knick), Oscar nominee Naomie Harris (Spectre) and Mahershala Ali, who picked up a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his work here. Moonlight was penned by Jenkins, from a story by Tarell Alvin McCraney – both of whom earned Oscars for penning the film’s screenplay.
While the Best Picture confusion was befell the conclusion of the 89th Academy Awards – when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway erroneously announced that favorite La La Land had won the top prize instead of rightful winner Moonlight - have dominated the headlines, the surprising Oscar upset may surely benefit A24 with some extended box office play. With its 1,500 theater count, that would mark the highest volume of theaters that Moonlight has played since the film opened in limited release last October. So far, the film has earned $22 million at the domestic box office.
Traditionally, Best Picture winners can add quite to their overall gross following awards victories, however these metrics are changing in a landscape that includes streaming options and smaller theatrical windows. Moonlight became available on DVD and Blu-Ray this past Tuesday.