Pop Culture

AMC to show best film nominees back-to-back

AMC Theaters said Friday it will show the five movies nominated for the Best Picture Oscar back-to-back on the Saturday before the Academy Awards.

The nation's second-largest theater chain is selling $30 tickets to see the mini-film festival at 78 theaters across the country on Feb. 24, the day before the Oscars are announced.

Beginning at 11 a.m. with the complex, interconnected story lines of "Babel," the showing also will include "The Queen," "The Departed" and "Letters from Iwo Jima," before ending with the dysfunctional family/road movie "Little Miss Sunshine" at 9:45 p.m.

In all, that amounts to 10 1/2 hours of film time, not including 15 minute breaks and a longer dinner break. Each ticket grants the moviegoer unlimited refills of soda and popcorn during the shows, said AMC spokeswoman Sun Dee Larson.

"They're some of the most celebrated movies this year," Larson said. "We recognize that some people haven't had a chance to see all of them and others might want to see them again and the best way to see them is on the big screen."

This is the first time AMC has tried a movie package connected to the Oscars, Larson said. The company showed the three movies of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy back-to-back when the final installment, "The Return of the King," was released in December 2003, she said.

Other theater chains and individual movie houses have tried similar movie marathons with the "Star Wars" films.

Robert Bucksbaum, president of theater research firm Exhibitor Relations Co., said sitting through five Oscar films would appeal to many people, especially as all the movies have come out in the last three months and most aren't yet available on video or DVD.

"There's some unbelievable moviegoers out there," Bucksbaum said. "People go to movie theaters for common interests. They love that experience. I think you will be surprised by how many people will buy into this."

Moviegoers can go to to find out which theaters are included in the promotion.