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Spielberg Films Shuffle: 'War Horse' Moves To Christmas Day; 'The Adventures Of Tintin' On Dec 21

by Edward Davis
September 28, 2011 10:31 AM
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2011 for Steven Spielberg is much more difficult than it was in 2005 -- the last time the super-prolific filmmaker released two films in one year. In 2005, you had "War of the Worlds" in the summer and six months later you had "Munich," and very little had to be done by way of managing time between Paramount ("War of the Worlds") and Universal ("Munich").

Come 2011, it's a much different story. Within days of each other Spielberg is releasing his mo-cap 3D four-quadrant-friendly "The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn" (Paramount) and his serious, Oscar-bait picture "War Horse" (Touchstone Pictures/Disney). You can bet that both studios are hyper aware of each others' release plans and they're likely sharing and planning his time accordingly. It's likely a huge PR nightmare, but for the director it's all gravy -- one picture to put him in Oscar contention, one picture to secure his position on the adventure-film blockbuster mantle.
But it's all a game of dominoes. Thus when Paramount earlier today announced that 'The Adventures of Tintin' was jumping up two days early on its North American release from December 23 to December 21, you knew another announcement was forthcoming.

And yep, with a few more days of breathing room, Touchstone has moved "War Horse" up from December 28 to Christmas Day, December 25. This picture is based on the acclaimed stage play and follows a young man named Albert and his horse, Joey, and how their bond is broken when Joey is sold to the cavalry and sent to the trenches of World War I. Despite being too young to enlist, Albert heads to France to save his friend. The picture stars a treasure trove of excellent English talent like Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Thewlis, Eddie Marsan, Peter Mullan, Toby Kebbell, Emily Watson and in the role of the young boy, newcomer Jeremy Irvine. Surely this one is headed for some kind of major Oscar play.

'Tintin' on the other hand is the exact opposite -- an 'Indiana Jones'-like adventure epic based on the work of Belgian author/artist Hergé that will look like recent Robert Zemeckis films: all motion-captured work. The film stars the voice (and body-captured performances of) Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig, Cary Elwes, Nick Frost, Toby Jones, Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis. Written by Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish ("Attack the Block"), should there be a sequel, 'Tintin' producer Peter Jackson will direct. It won't be awards bound other than visual effects, but it'll be interesting to see if this internationally-beloved comic translates on screens in North America.

Making things even more interesting? Another film with Daniel Craig comes out on December 21 -- David Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," but of course the real thing won't really be competing with the mo-capped version. [BOM]

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More: Films, The Adventures Of Tintin, War Horse

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  • free bee | October 9, 2011 5:44 AMReply

    ----From COP OUT Clint Eastwood, to Steven Spielberg, Hollywood continues its deliberate cover up --er' 'easing past' of the yet unfolding RED Chinese 'Model for the World' Halocaust.

    Just a little REALITY CHECK on this, the 60th
    Anniversary of the again 'overlooked', awaesomely
    relevant, RED China--Globalism and EUGENICS
    'unfriendly' --

    -----------------------KOREAN WAR-------------------------

  • Glass | September 29, 2011 9:57 AMReply

    Geez, who decided December 21st would be the blockbuster gangbang of the century? That's insane. Tintin and MI need to go back home, give Dragon Tattoo its day, even though it's complete counter-programming to the other two.

  • Mike | September 29, 2011 2:32 AMReply

    This is just silly, there's plenty of space for competing movies in the holiday season, but the beginning of December is pretty light, whereas those last few weekends have far too many potential blockbusters clumped together. TinTin isn't a guarantee in the US, and despite how exciting it looks, neither is M:I 4, both should roll out earlier in the month, and hope to last throughout the holidays.

  • Erik McClanahan | September 28, 2011 11:57 AMReply

    Thanks Ted! We corrected.

  • Ted | September 28, 2011 11:18 AMReply

    Just FYI, Dragon Tatto looks to still be set for release on December 21st, not the 25th. It might also be worth mentioning that Paramount just moved Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol back to December 16 (again), but only as a limited/IMAX release (it'll then go wide as previously planned on December 21st). Regardless, it's still weird to me that Paramount has two IMAX blockbusters coming out within a few days of each other (the other being Tintin). I don't see how they're going to make that work.

  • Edward Davis | September 28, 2011 11:01 AMReply

    duh, right.

  • adfd | September 28, 2011 10:59 AMReply

    Two Daniel Craig movies on the exact same day.

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