Oh, look, it’s time for another Friday edition of Release Date Round-Up, packed to the metaphorical gills with release date changes, switcheroos, change-ups, and push-arounds for all sorts of big-time studio films. Like what, you may ask, what films, why now, why should I care? Well, do you care about the final installment in the never-ending saga that is The Hobbit? Are you anxious to know when you can see Wally Pfister’s directorial debut? Dying to know which upcoming comic book adaptation is now going the (not totally unexpected) 3D route? Sure ya do.
After the break, find out just how much your movie-going schedule is going to change in the coming months. Get ready to change those iCals, folks.
The Hobbit: There and Back Again
The release date: What, did you really think that we’d be finally done with The Hobbit in July of next year? Did you really think Peter Jackson’s final J.R.R. Tolkien opus wasn’t going to just go ahead and claim yet another December date? Did you really think you were free? Yeah, us, too. While the news that The Hobbit was going to be split into a stultifying three films stung, the silver lining was always that the final two films would arrive just seven months apart, going in a final Harry Potter films direction, but now that dream has been taken away. New Line Cinema and MGM have now moved The Hobbit: There and Back Again to December 17, 2014. Yup, they own you for yet another holiday season.
Previous date: July 18, 2014.
Why? Presumably, it’s attractive to the studio and marketing to keep up consistent December dates (the first Hobbit opened on xx and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will open on December 13th of this year). Also, it gets There and Back Again far away from a slammed summer season, including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Jurassic Park 4, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Transformers 4, Guardians of the Galaxy, and X-Men: Days of Future Past, which also occupies that original July date.
Currently slated for that date? Nothing else, but both Minions and Tomorrowland open on December 19, 2014.
The release date: Wally Pfister’s directorial debut, already set to star Johnny Depp and Paul Bettany, will hit theaters on April 25, 2014.
Previous date: None.
Why? Grab those free dates while you can.
Currently slated for that date? None.
The release date: The comic book adaptation maintains its July 19, 2013 release date, but now it will be presented in glorious 3D!
Previous date: Same.
Why? Who doesn’t want to see Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges in 3D? And why shouldn’t we just make every comic book movie be in 3D? Why not 4D? Why not?!
Currently slated for that date? The Conjuring, Turbo, Populaire.
The release date: August 16, 2013.
Previous date: June 28, 2013.
Why? Because this movie doesn’t exist. Seriously, we maintain that. Also, if it does exist, this means that Universal can plan some serious Comic-Con shenanigans for this July.
Currently slated for that date? Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (what? this movie is happening, too?), The To-Do List, Haute Cuisine.
The release date: Of all of this week’s date moves, the two-week push-up of the Denzel Washington-starring actioner to August 2, 2013 is the most bizarre. Sure, Universal needed to clear some space for their other August film, Kick-Ass 2, but moving the film to the new date now puts it in direct competition with other action projects, like that 300 sequel and Red 2. Yet, perhaps this move signals that the final project looks good enough to compete. And, hey, bonus Mark Wahlberg.
Previous date: August 16, 2013.
Why? Universal needed to clear out the new date for their Kick-Ass 2 and 2 Guns got the shove.
Currently slated for that date?
The Wolf of Wall Street
The release date: The Martin Scorsese-directed true life tale will arrive just in time for Thanksgiving, on November 15, 2013.
Previous date: None.
Why? Ever hear of “awards season”?
Currently slated for that date? The Best Man Holiday, The Counselor, The Fifth Estate, Grudge Match. Or, what?