This may be old news for some, but a few days ago, Paramount announced that it will pushing back the release of the highly anticipated Martin Scorsese film Shutter Island. The film will no longer open Oct. 2nd of this year, but will now bow in February, 2010.
The studio is blaming fourth quarter financial woes for the move, and have stressed that it has nothing to do with the film itself, which has strong buzz and had received some early praise in test screenings. The move does mean that Paramount has no other high-profile film opening this fall until December, which sees Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones open. The studio has encountered this problem before, blaming financial concerns when they rescheduled The Soloist and Defiance last year. Neither film enjoyed critical or box office success as a result. Ironically, that decision was made to ostensibly free up marketing dollars for, among other films, Revolutionary Road, a DiCaprio film that did not fare well with the box office or during awards season.
So now they move Shutter Island from the fall, where it's got a chance to open strong and pick up some award buzz, to February. February. What was the last film that opened in February that picked up a bunch of awards? Can't recall? That's because February is a trash month for movies. A lot of studios dump their stuff then, saving their blockbusters for spring/summer and their Oscar bait for fall/winter.
Some are saying this is being done to make room for Up in the Air, the Jason Reitman directed, George Clooney starring film that doesn't have a solid release date as of yet, but is garnering buzz. shows how connected I am, this movie wasn't even on my radar.
Personally, I think it's a bad move. It dumps on two big players in Hollywood, and Scorsese has said that if this hurts the picture, he may reconsider ever working with Paramount again. DiCaprio has to be pissed off, too. If Up in the Air or The Lovely Bones (which is a far riskier film) tanks, then they'll have nothing for awards season.
So, this means that yet another film I put in a list of fall movies I am looking forward to is not coming out this fall. Maybe I'm bad juju.