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Is BOM's 600-location threshold for wide release too low?

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From the website's opening in mid-1998 to about mid-2001, the threshold for a film to be considered "wide release" was 800 theater locations. Then, for whatever reason, it was reduced to 600. Personally, I think that's a tad low, as a lot of limited-engagement features can scrape up 600 theaters.

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In 2001 600 theaters was akin to about 1 theater for every 500000 people, which would roughly cover any urban areas of considerable size. Now that number would probably be closer to 680 theaters. Bigger but I guess not significant enough for BOM to make a change.


But movies can still find a significant audience even if they never go "wide". Whiplash is a good example.

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If a movie is playing in around  600 theaters or less, it is usually not playing anywhere within a couple hours of me (which is kind of the middle of nowhere but still). So I don't considering it a "wide" release, it's certainly not playing everywhere. So yeah 800 or even 1,000 seems more accurate for wide imo. 

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