Tom Hanks’ ‘Captain Phillips’ to Get 800-Screen Sneak Preview Saturday

Sony gives its awards hopeful a kick-start with early screenings of the Somali pirate thriller, opens wide on Oct. 11

Sony will sneak-preview “Captain Phillips” on roughly 800 screens on Saturday.

The awards hopeful, which stars Tom Hanks in the fact-based tale of a sea captain whose ship is besieged by Somali pirates, opens nationwide on Friday, Oct. 11.

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The early screenings could help build buzz for “Phillips,” which will open just a week after another awards contender that’s expected to have significant box-office muscle: the Sandra Bullock-George Clooney space epic “Gravity.”

The size of the run — 800 theaters — shows Sony’s confidence in the film and is large enough that it could chip into the Saturday numbers for Warner Bros.’ “Gravity.”

The only other movie opening wide on Oct. 11 is Open Road Films’ R-rated action thriller “Machete Kills.”