The Weinstein Co said today it is rereleasing its war drama Sarah’s Key on 300 screens on Friday, giving the summer title a push into awards season. The film stars Kristin Scott Thomas as an American journalist living in modern-day Paris whose research for an article about the imprisonment of Jews during France’s notorious Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup in 1942 ends up turning her own world inside out. Gilles Paquet-Brenner directed the film and co-wrote the script with Serge Joncour based on the novel by Tatiana de Rosnay. Sarah’s Key made $7 million at the domestic box office after its July 22 release; worldwide, it’s made $20.5 million to date. “We know there’s an even bigger audience for the movie, and that’s why we’re re-releasing it now, in a wider pattern, and just in time for awards consideration,” Weinstein Co distribution boss Erik Loomis said. The company already has its hands full during awards season, with at least its My Week With Marilyn (release date: November 23), The Artist (November 25) and Meryl Streep-starrer The Iron Lady (December 16) angling for attention.
Summit Entertainment has set or adjusted release dates for a handful of movies due next year and in 2013. Step Up 4, the next installment of the successful dance franchise, is now positioned on July 27, 2012. Set in Miami, this one’s directed by Scott Speer. The previous three Step Ups have grossed a combined $424.3 million worldwide. Warm Bodies, the odd zombie romance-adventure directed by Jonathan Levine starring Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich and Dave Franco, is planted August 10, 2012. Debuting two weeks later August 24 is Sinister. The supernatural crime tale directed by Scott Derrickson stars Ethan Hawke and Vincent D’Onofrio and for now goes up against Sony’s Premium Rush. For 2013, Louis Leterrier’s illusionist-heist flick Now You See Me is slated to materialize January 18. Cast includes Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Morgan Freeman, Woody Harrelson and Mark Ruffalo. That day currently also has Disney/Pixar’s reformatted-in-3D Monsters, Inc, as well as Lionsgate’s The Last Stand. Director Gavin Hood’s movie based on Orson Scott Card’s phenomenal Ender’s Game is targeted for March 15. The landmark bestseller about kids trained to battle a ruthless insectoid alien race using videogame-console-based weaponry spawned a host of subsequent books — and ripe sequel and spinoff possibilities. Ender’s competition on that date is Warner Bros’ Arthur & Lancelot. And the retired and extremely dangerous ex-CIA operatives from RED …
Warner Bros announced today that it is moving the release date of Legendary Pictures’ big-budget 3D action tent pole Pacific Rim, which Guillermo del Toro is directing. The studio has set its bow for May 10, 2013, staking it at the head of the summer film pack. It had been set for July 12, 2013. Charlie Hunnam, Charlie Day and Idris Elba star; del Toro, Mary Parent and Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni are producing. Rim, which begins shooting next month, was written by Travis Beacham and is set in a future where giant malevolent creatures threaten to destroy the earth, and the planet must band together and use advanced weapons technology to eradicate the growing threat.
BREAKING: Disney has confirmed that the Gore Verbinski-directed Johnny Depp-starrer The Lone Ranger has come back on track, with the studio setting the film for a May 31, 2013 release. As Deadline revealed yesterday, the film will begin production February 6. The film was originally supposed to get underway this fall for a December 21, 2012 release, but all that changed when Disney shocked Hollywood by unplugging the film over fears that its budget could reach $275 million. Deadline revealed that news exclusively on August 12. It was a surprising move, considering that Bruckheimer is a cornerstone producer and Depp has starred in the studio’s highest-grossing films, with both of them teaming with Verbinski on the first three installments of The Pirates Of The Caribbean.
Verbinski, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Depp rose to the challenge, though, even though it was a painful one. They reworked their compensation deals and figured out ways to save money in the production budget. They brought the budget down to a figure that is around $215 million, I’m told. Taking responsibility to bring the film in for that price was the only way that the studio was going to make the film. Considering that most Westerns don’t travel overseas as well as some other genres (Cowboys & Aliens has proven to be an offshore disappointment), The Lone Ranger is still a big bet by a studio that is backing John Carter, a film that costs more than $250 million, and Oz The Great And Powerful, which hovers at around $200 million. At least now, Disney’s risk on The Lone Ranger has been contained.
It’s been a busy week for Hollywood studios settling on release dates. Here’s what’s happened:
Unauthorized, Sundance Now, Oct. 7**
Puss In Boots, DreamWorks Animation, Oct. 28 (Nov. 4)
Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, Paramount, Dec. 16 sneak previews (Dec. 21*)
The Adventures of Tintin, Paramount, Dec. 21 (Dec. 23)
War Horse, DreamWorks/Touchstone/Disney, Dec. 25 (Dec. 28)
The Lucky One, Warner Bros, April 20, 2012 (Aug. 12, 2012)
Argo, Warner Bros, Sept. 14, 2012 (–)
Gangster Squad, Warner Bros, Oct. 19, 2012 (–)
Paramount said today that it is shifting the release dates for two of its prime holiday movies. Now, the Steven Spielberg-directed The Adventures of Tintin and the Tom Cruise-starrer Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol will both open in wide release (including IMAX) on Wednesday, Dec. 21. Mission: Impossible always had that date, but today it was revealed that the actioner will begin previews in select theaters and IMAX on Friday, Dec. 16. Meanwhile, the studio had slated Tintin for a Dec. 23 bow but has moved the motion-capture pic up a bit into the midweek spot.
The week leading up to Christmas has always been a plum one for the studios, but the year it is particularly crazy. In addition to Mission: Impossible, Sony has slotted its big David Fincher action drama The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo for Wednesday. Meanwhile, Fox’s Cameron Crowe pic We Bought a Zoo bows wide Friday along with the platform debut of the Angelina Jolie-directed In the Land of Blood and Honey. On Christmas Day is Spielberg’s just-shifted War Horse, from DreamWorks/Touchstone/Disney; Summit’s sci-fi thriller The Darkest Hour; and Warner Bros’ limited release of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.
Paramount Pictures has just moved the DreamWorks comedy starring Eddie Murphy off Martin Luther King weekend to a new date after the Academy Awards. Now A Thousand Words will open on March 23rd. A studio exec told me it’s to take advantage of the heat that Eddie is expected to generate for his career after hosting the Oscars.
What to do with Project X, the $12 million raunchy R-rated Warner Bros comedy that was constructed secretly and produced by Todd Phillips and executive produced by Joel Silver, and populated with a cast that was chosen on the basis of never having done anything recognizable? Warner Bros, which probably hasn’t had a film with this low a budget since the Depression, has moved the film out of its Nov. 23 date. It will now open March 2, 2012. The studio has also given the Walter Hill-directed Sylvester Stallone-starrer Bullet to the Head an April 13, 2012 release date, getting the film out before the summer onslaught.
Fox Searchlight has changed the release date of its Alexander Payne-directed The Descendants. The comedic drama starring George Clooney and Judy Greer was slated for limited release Dec. 16, 2011 but has been moved up to Nov. 23. That gets the pic away from Warner Bros’ new Sherlock Holmes movie but also the Weinstein Co’s Meryl Streep-starrer The Iron Lady, which could be seeking the same audience. Now Descendants‘ toughest direct competition on the new date might be another Weinstein pic, the Cannes hit The Artist. On Wednesday, Paramount moved Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol from Dec. 16 to Dec. 21.
Also, CBS Films has shifted the date on The Woman in Black from Jan. 20, 2012 to Feb. 3, 2012. The thriller stars Daniel Radcliffe as a lawyer who travels to a remote village and discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals.