This year, things are different. Kenneth Branagh’s acclaimed “Belfast” became an immediate frontrunner as the winner of the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival’s often-predictive Audience Award. In the past, a platform release for the sensitive black-and-white period film would certainly follow. This year, Focus is expected to open in at least 500 theaters on November 12. Neon’s “Spencer,” starring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana, is expected to open in about 1,500 theaters on November 5 per exhibition sources.
This year, it’s almost certain that Best Picture will go to a film that opened in dozens, if not hundreds, of theaters,