Entertainment, Film and Music

How will Mandela’s death affect his biopic at the box office?

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Overnight, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, the biopic about the life of the global icon, Nelson Mandela, went from being just another contender on the long list of award-caliber films to arguably the must-see movie of the season.

The news of Mandela’s death came as The Weinstein Company, along with Long Walk to Freedom’s stars, director and producers, were in the midst of promoting the film, which currently is playing in only four theaters (two in New York City, and two in Los Angeles.)

Although the film is now receiving more buzz than ever, a publicist for the Weinstein Company tells theGrio that they are sticking to their original plan of expanding Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom into a larger number of theaters nationwide on Christmas Day.

According to Jake Coyle of the Associated Press, “when it [Long Walk to Freedom] opens wide on Christmas, it’s sure to draw larger crowds moved to remember Mandela. The Weinstein Co.’s challenge is to not appear to be capitalizing on Mandela’s passing, but celebrating his life.”

Last night, TWC Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein released a heart-felt message on Mandela’s passing.

“One of the privileges of making movies is having the opportunity to immortalize those who have made a profound impact on humanity. We count ourselves unspeakably fortunate to have been immersed in Nelson Mandela’s story and legacy,” Weinstein stated.

“I have had the privilege of spending time with President Mandela and I can say his sense of humor was as great as his optimism. We are deeply saddened by his loss; our hearts go out to his family and the entire South African nation.”

http://www.nbcnews.com/video/the-grio/53616542#53616542

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