"New Moon" may be set to dominate the box office and entertainment headlines this weekend, but Lee Daniels "Precious" will continue its remarkable limited release run by expanding to a respectively miniscule 600 theaters.  Already one of the most lauded films of the year, "Precious" has already broken box office records grossing $9.6 million in 12 days in no more than 174 theaters.  Lionsgate has balanced a delicate line between appealing to upscale/art house, African American and broad audiences so tha the drama will need to not only be profitable, but hopefully ride a path to Oscar glory. 

The studio has already release two impressive posters for the picture, but until now they had not put star Gabby Sidibe front and center in the film's print campaign.  That all changes with this brand new awards season design provided exclusively to HitFix.  Featuring some of the top critical notices "Precious" has already received, the poster will not only grab the attention of Academy and Guild voters, but accurately places it as a prestige picture moviegoers who only see three to four films a year can't miss. 

You can view a large version of the new poster embedded at the end of this post.

In other "Precious" news, the Producer's Guild of America announced the film will receive the organization's 2010 Stanley Kramer Award.  The honor is bestowed to a film that "illuminates  provacative social issues in an accessible and elevating fashion."  Previous winners include past Best Picture nominees "Milk," "An Inconvenient Truth" and "Good Night, and Good Luck."  And, of course, the film is still eligible for the guild's Theatrical Motion Picture award as well.

In other awards news...

- Academy and Guild members are getting some key screeners this week just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. Fox Searchlight has sent out "500 Days of Summer" and Sony Pictures has mailed "District 9" and "Julie and Julia."  At this point, most studios will wait to send out films not released in theaters until early to mid December knowing before Christmas is a must if you really want Academy members to diligently view before the nomination submission deadline.

- The Academy officially announced that Hamish Hamilton will direct the 82nd Academy Awards.  Hamilton's credits include the MTV Video Music Awards and the MTV Europe Video Music Awards and live concert performances by artists suchas u2, Josh Groban and Christina Aguilera.  He will be quite busy over the next few months as he's also been slated to helm the Super Bowl XLIV half-time show.

- On a more intriguing note, The Envelope's saber rattling Tom O'Neil states his case for why he believes "Inglourious Basterds" will not only be nominated, but win the Oscar for Best Picture.  Having worked with O'Neil at The Envelope, it's clear there is arguably no one more versed in Academy history working the beat today, but there are more holes in his theory than a slice of swiss cheese you'd get with a deli sandwich at Canters on Fairfax.  This prognosticator is a big fan of "Basterds," but to say it's going to win at this point is just a nice reach for page views.  Remember "Sweeney Todd" Tom? 

For constant updates on awards season and entertainment news follow Gregory Ellwood on Twitter at Twitter.com/HitFixGregory
 

'Precious' poster puts Gabby front and center.