Awards News: STAND UP GUYS Gets Oscar-Qualifying Run; Wide Release of ZERO DARK THIRTY May Be Pushed to January

     October 24, 2012

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Oscar season must be getting closer, as couple of interesting awards-related stories have surfaced today.  First up, Lionsgate’s comedy Stand Up Guys is getting an awards-qualifying run in New York and Los Angeles on December 14th, per THR.  The film stars Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Alan Arkin as retired gangsters who reunite for one last epic night where, naturally, everything goes to hell.  I’m not sure how strong the chances are of generating a nomination or two for some of the cast, but it can’t hurt for Lionsgate to try.  The pic opens wide on January 11th.

Additionally, it looks like Sony may be rethinking their release strategy with the highly anticipated “kill Bin Laden” drama Zero Dark Thirty.  Hit the jump for more. 

zero-dark-thirty-posterThe Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow’s drama Zero Dark Thirty has been one of the more interesting films on the 2012 release slate for some time, as the secretive plot centers on the decade-long hunt and eventual assassination of Osama bin Laden.  Moreover, the swell ensemble cast of Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Kyle Chandler, James Gandolfini, and Joel Edgerton is sure to generate performance-based awards talk.

The pic is currently scheduled for a wide release on December 19th, but THR reports that Sony is considering a more traditional platform release for the pic.  Apparently one idea being floated would have Zero Dark Thirty opening in New York and Los Angeles on December 19th, expanding to 10 or 12 markets on January 4th, and opening wide on January 11th.  The Oscar nominations are slated to be announced on January 10th, so the studio would no doubt be hoping to boost box office potential on the heels of the film’s probable nominations.

This isn’t a new notion, but it could be a smart move in Zero Dark Thirty’s case.  The film is facing a packed December that includes Les Miserables, The Hobbit, Django Uncahined, This is 40, and more, and so the platform release would allow the pic to expand after audiences/families have already seen the big Christmas releases.  On the downside, audiences not living in the major markets would have to wait a bit longer to see it.

As of now, the film is still set to open wide on December 19th.  A release date change has yet to officially be made, but don’t be surprised if it happens.  The film marks Bigelow’s first film after winning Best Director and Best Picture for The Hurt Locker, so Sony is understandably plotting a major awards campaign.

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