Sony announced they are shifting the release date for Cameron Crowe’s newest film – still known only as Untitled Cameron Crowe Project - from its plum, awards-friendly Christmas 2014 date to next summer. The Hawaiian-set romantic dramedy, which stars Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone and Rachel McAdams, was written and directed by Crowe and will now come out in theaters on May 29th, 2015. The delay doesn’t seem to stem from problems with the movie, but rather a marketing play for the distributor. “Once we saw the film, we knew that it would make a perfect summer release. The movie is Cameron at his best,” said Jeff Blake, chairman of worldwide marketing and distribution for Sony. The film will now open opposite the third installment of the Insidious horror series in the typically slow weekend following the Memorial Day holiday.
Whether this is a play for a bigger audience or a gentle way of suggesting that Crowe’s latest film may not have the weight for a holiday season release will be unknown until the film actually starts to screen. Crowe, who won an Oscar for penning the screenplay for his critically admired 2000 rock autobiography Almost Famous and received Oscar nominations for producing and writing the 1996 hit Jerry Maguire, has in recent years been in somewhat of a creative slump, both critically and commercially. His last film was 2011’s forgettable We Bought a Zoo with Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson. That film was a box office and critical disappointment, as was his 2005 road flick Elizabethtown with Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst and 2001’s Vanilla Sky, which reunited the director with actor Tom Cruise.
Then again, the new film may benefit from the date change in the same manner that Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby did a year ago. Luhrmann’s colorful adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald masterpiece was famously delayed from its holiday 2012 slot to May 2013, besieging it with alarming buzz for such a glittery and expensive movie. While reviews and reactions were mixed when the film finally opened, Gatsby became a substantial moneymaker and even won two Academy Awards, inarguably validating a strong decision by the distributor, Warner Bros. While Crowe’s latest may not fall in the same terrain, both features likely share the same slightly older target demographic.
Crowe’s film, from Columbia Pictures and Regency Enterprise and produced by Oscar titan Scott Rudin (No Country for Old Men), tells the story of a celebrated military contractor (Cooper) who settles in Honolulu – and the U.S. space program that resides there – and reconnects with a former lover (McAdams), only to find himself blindsided by the Air Force watchdog assigned to him (Stone.) The starry ensemble also includes Bill Murray, Alec Baldwin, Jay Baruchel and John Krasinski. In the meantime, moviegoers can catch up with Stone as she headlines the new Woody Allen comedy Magic in the Moonlight and McAdams in the thriller A Most Wanted Man, both of which open in limited release this week. Cooper (or least his voice) will be featured in the Marvel blockbuster-in-waiting Guardians of the Galaxy, which hits theaters August 1st.