Please, Warner Bros., don’t do it. Resist the urge. Give us some time to take in all the movies we want to. Please….
What we’re referring to, of course, is the news handed down today that the limited release for Spike Jonze’s Her, the trailer for which took down our #1 spot in last week’s Weekly Trailer Roundup, is being moved from November 20th to December 18th. That’s right. You’ll have to wait nearly a whole month extra to see Her. And if you’re not in New York, Los Angeles, or Toronto, you’ll have to wait until January 10, 2014
It’s not hard to understand why Warner Bros. did it. Early press for Her has been resoundingly positive, and moving the wide release into December allows A) grassroots marketing to kick into high gear with the limited release still in November, B) the movie to be that much more fresh in the minds of awards voters, and C) hopefully nudge out competitors in the box office. But damn, December is crowded. November too, for that matter, even without Her. We’ve talked a little bit about it before, but now’s as good a time as any to lay out just how crazy the end of the year is going to be.
For sanity’s sake, we won’t mention here every release coming to theaters. But what we do hope to illustrate is, considering 1)big budget blockbusters 2) smaller films with awards season hopes, and 3) films somewhere in the middle that still figure bring a not-insignificant box office pull, just how many notable releases are being packed into just a few weeks.
1 – Ender’s Game, Last Vegas, Free Birds
8 – Thor: The Dark World, About Time
15 – The Wolf on Wall Street, The Book Thief
22 – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Delivery Man, Nebraska
27 – Oldboy, Frozen, Homefront, Grace of Monaco, Black Nativity
29 – Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (limited)
Whether or not Her was moved, the craziness really begins in November. The beginning of the month features a showdown between Ender’s Game and Thor: The Dark World, both of which will have to take on Hunger Games in the middle of the month in the battle of big-budget crowd pleasers. Vince Vaughn’s dramedy Delivery Man looks good, but bet on it gasping for survival. Frozen wades in for Disney at the end of the month, but this is really their family Christmas movie pitch. In terms of awards talk, the big one is Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, but look out for indie dramas The Book Theif, starring Geoffrey Rush (Pirates of the Caribbean, The King’s Speech), Nebraska, directed by Alexander Payne (Sideways, The Descendants), and Grace of Monaco, starring Nicole Kidman. It seems like there’s always a movie or two that comes more or less out of nowhere to make a splash, and all of these have the potential. Mandela doesn’t have a wide release date yet in the U.S., but early buzz for the film is strong as well.
6 – Into the Furnace, Dallas Buyer’s Club
13 – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
18 – The Monuments Men, Her (limited)
20 – Anchorman: The Legend Continues, Inside Llewyn Davis, Saving Mr. Banks
25 – American Hustle, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, 47 Ronin, Jack Ryan, August: Osage County, Prism, Grudge Match
27 – Lone Survivor (limited)
Including Lone Survivor, which sneaks in under the awards consideration deadline, there are probably a minimum of ten films releasing in December that believe they have the potential to snag serious hardware. Simply put, that’s insane. The week up to and onto Christmas Day is especially brutal, when you add in major draws like Anchorman: The Legend Continues and Jack Ryan.
We will, of course, have continued coverage on all these films as we draw nearer their respective releases. We’re steeling ourselves for the madness already.