The October 28 release date of Anonymous is fast approaching, but Sony is making a last-minute change in the distribution plan. Pre-release surveys predict a weak opening weekend (under $5 million) if Anonymous were thrust into the unforgiving expectations of a wide release. Instead, per Company Town, Sony will scale back the open the film in just 250 theaters rather than thousands. Anonymous came out of Toronto with surprisingly positive early reviews for a Roland Emmerich picture. Sony distribution president Rory Bruer explained the plan: “We love the picture and think it’s going to get great word of mouth. We’re committed to expanding it until it plays wide.” The Shakespearean tale at the center of Anonymous could play well in the arthouses—I am very curious to see how the platform plays out.
Hit the jump for details on the postponement of Kathryn Bigelow’s Bin Laden movie and the move of the Kevin James MMA comedy Here Comes the Boom.
The Bin Laden/SEAL Team 6 movie, sometimes known as Kill Bin Laden, was set for October 12, 2012. However, Sony decided to move Here Comes the Boom to October 12. To accommodate the shift, Sony will postpone Kill Bin Laden to a later date. Variety suggests the studio is considering a number of options, and will announce their decision on the date in the next few weeks. A release before the November 2012 election is reportedly unlikely.
Here’s how Sony describes the story from Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker):
The untitled film focuses on the black ops mission to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, which culminated in his death earlier this month during a high-stakes raid on his compound in Pakistan. Bigelow and Boal have been developing the project since 2008 and plan to incorporate recent events into the film.
Here’s the studio’s description of Here Comes the Boom:
In the comedy Here Comes the Boom, Kevin James stars as a high school biology teacher who moonlights as a mixed-martial arts fighter in an effort to raise money to save the school’s music program. Director Frank Coraci, who recently directed James in Zookeeper, which Columbia and MGM are co-financing and will be released this summer, re-teams with the star. Here Comes the Boom is produced by Todd Garner and Kevin James. Executive producers are Jeff Sussman, Marty Ewing and Sean Robbins. The screenplay is written by Allan Loeb & Kevin James.
To bring it full circle, here’s the official synopsis for Anonymous:
Set in the political snake-pit of Elizabethan England, Anonymous speculates on an issue that has for centuries intrigued academics and brilliant minds ranging from Mark Twain and Charles Dickens to Henry James and Sigmund Freud, namely: who was the author of the plays credited to William Shakespeare? Experts have debated, books have been written, and scholars have devoted their lives to protecting or debunking theories surrounding the authorship of the most renowned works in English literature. Anonymous poses one possible answer, focusing on a time when cloak-and-dagger political intrigue, illicit romances in the Royal Court, and the schemes of greedy nobles hungry for the power of the throne were exposed in the most unlikely of places: the London stage.