Last week The Weinstein Company revealed that it would be shifting Grace of Monaco, Oliver Dahan’s (La Vie en Rose) look at Grace Kelly, played by Nicole Kidman out of its originally announced Thanksgiving release and into sometime in 2014. Speculation abounded as to whether this bode ill of the film’s quality, or if a busy Weinstein just wanted to focus its awards season push on other titles, such as Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, August: Osage County, and Philomena. Given the news handed down today, we’re going to suppose it’s a little bit of both.
After a warm reception at its Venice premier, the Judy Dench-starring Philomena has taken over the Thanksgiving slot. It will open in limited release on November 22 before expanding the day before Thanksgiving on the following week. Curiously (although no more so than when Grace of Monaco occupied the same spot), this means it will be going head to head with Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom when it opens on November 29, a practice distributors typically eschew. Mandela will only see a limited release Thanksgiving weekend, but given Philomena‘s position as a bit of a down-ticket arthouse picture rather than a commercial juggernaut, the two are still likely to see significant overlap in audience.
Grace of Monaco, meanwhile, has been officially set as a March 14, 2014 release. It’s a peculiar date for a picture once considered an awards contender, but given the rash of acquisitions made by Weinstein through the end of the Toronto Film Festival, it’s very possible that Grace was simply pushed down the list of priorities.
In a final bit of maneuvering, One Chance, the true story of the winner of season one of Britain’s Got Talent, will sneak in under the wire for 2013. No wide release has been announced, but the biopic will open in Los Angeles and New York on the final Friday of the year (December 27). Although the picture looks like a fun drama (the theatrical trailer pulled down the #3 spot on our Weekly Trailer Roundup a few weeks back), it doesn’t seem like a likely contender for many awards. It seems likely that Weinstein will look for a commercial opening sometime early 2014 while at least drawing some dark horse consideration in the song and score categories.