Good news for awards contenders this year: the field just got a little thinner. Because the potential prestige juggernaut that was "The Big Wedding," an all-star rom-com starring Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon, Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried, Ben Barnes, Robin Williams and Topher Grace, the directorial debut of "The Bucket List" writer Justin Zackham (yes, that Paddy Chayefsky of the 21st century) is no longer a 2012 release, as parent studio Lionsgate have moved it from the so-close-you-can-almost-taste-it date of October 26th, to the far-off distant lands of April 26th, 2013, a date that it has all to itself (although "Iron Man 3" hits a week later), and exactly six months from the original release date.
Whether it was to give awards hopefuls like "The Master" a fighting chanch or an attempt to work as early-summer counter programming is unclear, but those of you who were eagerly looking forward to the film are going to have to wait a little longer. Might we suggest cutting together scenes from "27 Dresses" and "It's Complicated" into one giant mash-up to help the waiting go faster? The even more disappointing news is that on April 26th, 2013, we have an urgent appointment with beating ourselves about the face and head with rusty scaffolding poles, so we'll have to miss out on opening night.
Much more genuinely disappointing is another Lionsgate delay, as the company have also pushed back Louis Letterier's magician heist movie "Now You See Me" from March 15th, 2013, where it was due to open against "Carrie," to June 7th, where it'll now go head to head with M. Night Shyamalan's Will Smith vehicle "After Earth." Given that the film has a cast including Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Isla Fisher, Melanie Laurent, Woody Harrelson, Morgan Freeman, Dave Franco, Common, Elias Koteas and Michael Caine, and a score from the Chemical Brothers, we are genuinely bummed about the extra delay, but it's a measure of the confidence the company seem to have in the film that they're opening it against the biggest movie star on the planet. Whether it pays off remains to be seen.
Finally, having had some moderate success with Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger's team-up on "The Expendables 2" this summer, Lionsgate have found a date for their next man-date, as they've announced that they'll open "The Tomb," the Mikael Hafstrom-directed prison-escape actioner, on September 27th, 2013. The film, which also stars Sam Neill, Vincent D'Onofrio, 50 Cent, Jim Caviezel, and an inexplicably-slumming-it Amy Ryan, sees Stallone as a prison designer framed for murder, who must team with Arnie's con to break out of one of his own creations. We hope he tattooed the blueprints onto himself. It's got some tough competition on that date, with fellow testosterone-heavy pics "Runner Runner," with Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake, and "Paranoia," with Liam Hemsworth, Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman, all targeting the same day, making the last weekend of September at the multiplexesin 2013 the moviegoing equivalent of getting lost in the thriller section of an airport bookshop.
The exact opposite of that is college-age musical "Pitch Perfect," starring Anna Kendrick, and Universal seem to be confident about the film, as the company have announced that they'll be rolling the film out in limited release one week early, on September 28th, in order to get a little more buzz going about the project. It certainly suggests some confidence in the film, and we have a funny feeling this could turn out to be a bit of a sleeper hit this season. [Box Office Mojo]