The second week of January will be unofficially sponsored by The Social Network. The critically-acclaimed film will re-release in 600 theaters on January 7th, followed by a DVD/Blu-ray release on January 11th.
At least one film seems to re-release every year just in time for a late Oscars push. But there is more on the table for The Social Network. During its initial 96-day run, the movie made $196 million worldwide. This re-release should bring it past the $200 million mark, which is a healthy return on a $50 million production budget.
The last memorable re-release was Avatar. The highest-grossing film of all time went back to theaters and mustered up a mere $4 million in its first weekend of re-release. James Cameron's blockbuster added some previously cut footage to the theatrical edition, but The Social Network has no similar plans.
Sony Pictures chairman Jeff Blake announced the film's re-release to Deadline, but his words suggest a more fiscally-focused objective:
"At the box office, this film showed true staying power, grossing more than four times its opening weekend gross – a rare accomplishment when the average for wide releases last year was below three times its opening weekend gross."
Whatever the case may be, audiences and critics seemed to enjoy the movie. But audiences flocked to Avatar like never before and that re-release didn't turn out so well. Either way, it's not like low box office numbers will hurt The Social Network's acclaim. In the end, it could just turn out to be a financial hiccup for the studio. The real focus for many will be the movie's attempt to get back in the mainstream as a topic of discussion.
The world hasn't completely forgotten the film (at least, not as much as Shutter Island). We recently put it on two year-end lists - Our Favorite Movies of 2010 and The Top 10 Movie Moments of 2010. When The Social Network came out in early October, we gave it a glowing 4-star review and argued that it reflected a generation. Needless to say, it has seen plenty of positive press in just over three months.
A re-release may be unnecessary, but if Sony is willing to dish out the money to make it happen, who are we to complain? There are plenty of fantastic films in theaters right now and it would be easy for anybody, especially an Academy voter, to lose track of quality work from earlier in the season.
If you just want to stay home and watch the movie, you can wait an extra four days for the home video release of The Social Network. The movie hits DVD and Blu-ray on January 11th with over eight hours of bonus features. Check back Tuesday for Screen Rant's DVD/Blu-ray Breakdown preview of the release.