By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist May 23, 2012 at 9:03PM
Only earlier today, we were thinking to ourselves: "By jove, this Christmas season at the movies is going to be an absolute clusterfuck" (and yes, the voice inside our heads is that of David Niven in "A Matter Of Life And Death"). Last Christmas was pretty bad on its own, when films like "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," "War Horse," "The Adventures of Tintin" and "We Bought A Zoo" all cannibalized each other, and this summer, we're already seeing at the box office the effects of one massive hit overwhelming the competition, as "The Avengers" decimates "Dark Shadows," "The Dictator" and "Battleship" beneath it.
But Christmas looks even worse: in the week between December 19th and December 25th, no fewer than eight major, major movies are set for release: "Zero Dark Thirty," "This Is 40," "Life Of Pi," "One Shot" (which has possibly now been retitled "Jack Reacher," by marketing people who learned nothing from the "John Carter" fiasco), "The Guilt Trip," "Playing The Field," "Django Unchained" and "The Great Gatsby" (the latter two both starring Leonardo DiCaprio). Something had to give, surely? And indeed, something has: Ang Lee's "Life Of Pi," the director's 3D adaptation of Yann Martel's novel, has moved up a exactly a month to November 21st, Thanksgiving weekend, a date made easier after "47 Ronin" and "Gravity" were both delayed until 2013.
It's a smart move, likely inspired by the strong buzz that came out of the preview footage at CinemaCon recently, although the film will still have to contend with the third week of the final "Twilight" movie, plus DreamWorks Animation's "Rise of the Guardians" (it's most direct competition, especially as it's also in 3D), "The Silver Linings Playbook," "Red Dawn" and Bette Midler/Billy Crystal vehicle "Parental Guidance," a film seemingly made possible by a timewarp back into 1991. It's worth noting that "Hugo" opened on the same equivalent weekend last year, and it may be that Fox is hoping the film gets the same Oscar boost, while undoubtedly crossing their fingers that the box office is significantly bigger.
Elsewhere, the studio has also set a release date for a big comedy for 2013, as Shawn Levy's "The Internship," which will reteam "Wedding Crashers" stars Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, will now open on June 28th, 2013. That puts the film up against the less-than-terrifying competition of Ryan Reynolds/Jeff Bridges supernatural action comedy "R.I.P.D," and the week after "World War Z" and "Monsters University," but also keeps it two weeks shy of demographically similar films "The End Of The World" (with Seth Rogen & co) and "Grown Ups 2." Boy, maybe people should just make fewer movies. [20th Century Fox Corporate Communications]