Goin' to the Movies

Informin' You About Movies

Why Did ‘Shutter Island’ Get A New Release Date?

shutter-island-posterThe Martin Scorsese directed Shutter Island has been pushed back from Oct. 2 to next year by Paramount Pictures. This unexpected move results in a Feb. 19 release for a film that has an all-star cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, and Ben Kingsley.

So, what is the reasoning behind this? Hit the jump to find out. Gut reaction might be that the film isn’t that great to be released smack-dab in the middle of the late Fall awards season slot it had. However, with the pedigree of the cast and director, not to mention the author of the source material, it’s hard to fathom that this picture can’t hold its own.

THR’s Jay A. Fernandez posits that the switch might have been because of the duo of “Up in the Air,” by writer-director Jason Reitman, and “The Lovely Bones,” by Peter Jackson. “Air”, according to THR has a “soft” release date of Dec. 4. Meanwhile, “Bones” will be released on Dec. 11. Both of these films are garnering early buzz and will be distributed by Paramount/Dreamworks.

Apparently, Paramount is thinking that it might cost less to advertise and distribute these two films than all three together. Which seems logical, in the short term at least. However, the date they gave “Shutter” is perplexing. February generally lacks the quality films that even make big bucks. It is a relatively slow movie period, considering the start of school again and the post-Holiday spending drought.

A quick glance at the February releases of 2009 shows a couple of solid releases surrounded by various dull movies. Starting the month off strong (Feb. 6) was “Coraline,” the Henry Selick directed 3D stop-motion film adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s well-received childrens novel.

Other films that released that month were “Push”, “He’s Just Not That Into You”, “Pink Panther 2”, “Friday the 13th”, “The International”, “Confessions of a Shopaholic”, “Fired Up”, “Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail”, “Crossing Over”, “Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li”, and “The Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience”. Not exactly high quality films.

Say what you will, but a Scorsese-directed film deserves a better release calendar than that. With the lone exception of the excellent “Coraline”, none of those films should come close to what “Shutter” is likely to be.

Speaking of release calendars, the Oct. 2 release date that “Shutter” vacated seems to be a hot commodity to other studios. The Coen Bros. “A Serious Man” has been slated to open in limited release on Oct. 2 for a while. But now the directorial debut of Drew Barrymore, “Whip It!”, has made the jump from its Oct. 9 slot along with the limited-release Woody Harrelson starer “Zombieland”. “Whip” will join the “The Invention of Lying,” a Ricky Gervais comedy, as the only wide releases on Oct. 2.

According to Risky Biz’s Steven Zeitchik, this shift might provide a tempting spot for “Air” to jump into the Oct. 9 slot. Considering “Air” will be a limited release, it seems that the now relatively void weekend of big name films might provide a positive compared to potentially cannibalizing “The Lovely Bones” audience that a dual early December release would cause.

Clearly, October is going to be an interesting month.

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August 28, 2009 - Posted by | Ponderin', Schedule Changes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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