Release date news–The Hollywood Reporter says that “Zero Dark Thirty,” Kathryn Bigelow’s movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, is moving its wide release date. The film was originally supposed to open nationally on December 19th, but now it’s being shifted to January 11th. However, it will still open on the 19th in New York and LA in order to qualify for this year’s awards season. Got that?
Whenever a movie has its release date moved from a highly prominent date to a much less prominent one, instant speculation is that the studio doesn’t like what it has seen and is trying to bury it. However, I don’t think we can say that here, since they are making it available for awards eligibility. If it was a disaster, they’d keep it away from 2012 altogether. Additionally, January 11th is the day after the Oscar nominations will be announced, so they may be hoping that awards nominations will bring it some instant recognition as the nationwide release hits.The real answer is no doubt that they figure they have no box office chance against blockbusters like “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “Django Unchained,” and “Les Miserables,” not to mention Judd Apatow’s comedy “This is Forty,” or the Barbra Streisand/Seth Rogen comedy “Guilt Trip” (which jumped into the vacant spot on December 19th).
On January 11th, “Zero Dark Thirty” faces “Gangster Squad,” another delayed movie which probably has a similar audience. There’s also the Marlon Wayans comedy “A Haunted House,” which probably doesn’t.