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Is ‘The Artist’ Going to Run Into a Talkies Problem as It Expands?

Some moviegoers in Liverpool demand refunds after they learn that the Golden Globe-winning picture is virtually dialogue free

Will ‘The Artist’ run into a “talkies” problem when it expands into twice as many U.S. theaters this weekend?

According to reports out of England, some audience members at a movie theater in Liverpool didn't realize that "The Artist" was nearly silent — and demanded a refund. The Weinstein Co. film, which won three Golden Globes this past Sunday, is black-and-white, and has virtually no dialogue.

So far, it does not appear that Michel Hazanavicius’ homage to the end of the silent era in Hollywood has run into the same problem in the U.S. TheWrap conducted a quick survey of theaters here and found little dissatisfaction with the film, considered an Oscar favorite.

Also read: 'The Artist' Tops the Golden Globes- Here's What It Means

"Fortunately we are not having this issue," a spokesman for Landmark Theaters told TheWrap.

Further away from Hollywood, the story was the same.

Also read: 'The Artist' Director, Star Break Their Silence at Wrap Screening

"We haven't had any walkouts," Brian Hunter, facilities manager of the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor, told TheWrap on Wednesday. "In fact, we've had only positive things being said to us."

Carlo Petrick told TheWrap that audiences at the Marcus Theaters "The Artist" in Oakdale, Minn., "are very aware of the film." In fact, he said, "the amount of interest in it is fairly high for what is an art and indie film.”

"The Artist" is now playing at 216 domestic locations, and it expands by about 500 screens on Friday. The Weinstein Co., which is distributing the movie, did not immediately return calls for comment on Wednesday.

As for audience members that went to Terrence Malick’s esoteric “The Tree of Life” expecting a standard Brad Pitt film, well, that’s another matter.

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