Nobody kicks a Martin Scorsese movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio around on the schedule like an unwanted adopted child! Nobody! Okay, well Paramount just did. We won’t be seeing the highly-anticipated film that looks like a great noir mixed in with some nice ol’ fashioned mindfuckery until February 19th, 2010. Hit the jump to try and discover why before you’re committed.
A Scorsese film starring DiCaprio automatically receives all the Oscar nominations. It’s not a matter of Academy members preferring those films. When a film like this (or anything by Clint Eastwood) gets released, it automatically goes on the ballot. I have no proof to back this up but it’s my theory and my theories are never wrong. It’s a lot like Darwin except my theories get taught in schools in the South.
Nikki ‘Toldya’ Finke has some interesting info about why it moved from the traditional Oscar time of October all the way to Valentine’s Day weekend (if you’re girlfriend wants to see this instead of an insipid romantic comedy, marry her). One theory is that Paramount doesn’t have that $50-60 million for an Oscar marketing campaign but neither Finke nor I think that’s the sole reason or even the best reason. According to Finke’s source, Paramount has the cash but they’re getting pretty hard-hit when it comes to video sales. That’s understandable as the market for home viewing moves to digital downloads and On-Demand. I would also like to add that “Shutter Island” is Paramount’s last film of 2009 (other than their specialty branches and DreamWorks) so what other film would they back that has their studio logo on it?
However, Finke also reports that DiCaprio would be unavailable to do international press for the film and I find that a much stronger reason because he’s the big sell to those markets.
So what’s the strategy? Is the film not as good as the talent and trailers would lead us to believe? Perhaps. But Finke ends with her studio insider explaining that February isn’t a death sentence to an Awards film like it was before. Not only was “Silence of the Lambs” released in February, but now that the Best Picture category has expanded to ten films, it has a better chance of getting noticed and remembered at the end of the year.
So what do you think? Is this all a lot of smoke and mirrors to cover up a bad film or is this a reasonable strategy? Post your comments below.