Alexander Payne’s THE DESCENDANTS Set for December 16th; ONE FOR THE MONEY Falls to January 27, 2012

     March 22, 2011

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For those who like to plan in far in advance, we have some release date news for you this morning.  First up, Fox Searchlight has set Alexander Payne’s The Descendants for December 16th.  The film stars George Clooney as a wealthy landowner who tries to re-connect with his daughters.  While the release date puts it in prime position for awards season, it will have to contend with three blockbusters getting released the same day: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.  Presumably, Searchlight is going to start out with a limited release and then expand the film since releasing it wide as counter-programming would be incredibly risky.  I’m also going to assume that The Descendants will make the rounds at various fall film festivals because if you make a modestly-budgeted film starring George Clooney, federal law requires that you show it at Toronto and/or Telluride.

Hit the jump for news on the release date for One for the Money starring Katherine Heigl.

one-for-the-money-book-coverIt’s tough to believe that Lionsgate has much faith in Julie Anne Robinson’s adaptation of Janet Evanovich’s One for the Money.  The film was originally scheduled for July 8th of this year, but then they moved it to June 3rd, which would have put it head-to-head against X-Men: First Class.  But then Lionsgate pulled it from the schedule entirely and now Box Office Mojo reports that it’s landed at January 27, 2012.  It currently has no competition at that date, but January is a dumping ground.  While Heigl has questionable box office draw, the source material is highly popular and has loads of franchise potential since main character Stephanie Plum has appeared in eighteen novels since One for the Money first hit shelves in 1994.  Taking the film from the heart of summer to the wasteland of January doesn’t bode well for the final product.

For those unfamiliar with the book, here’s the synopsis:

Welcome to Trenton, New Jersey, home to wiseguys, average Joes, and Stephanie Plum, who sports a big attitude and even bigger money problems (since losing her job as a lingerie buyer for a department store). Stephanie needs cash–fast–but times are tough, and soon she’s forced to turn to the last resort of the truly desperate: family.

Stephanie lands a gig at her sleazy cousin Vinnie’s bail bonding company. She’s got no experience. But that doesn’t matter. Neither does the fact that the bail jumper in question is local vice cop Joe Morelli. From the time he first looked up her dress to the time he first got into her pants to the time Steph hit him with her father’s Buick, M-o-r-e-l-l-i has spelled t-r-o-u-b-l-e. And now the hot guy is in hot water–wanted for murder.

Abject poverty is a great motivator for learning new skills, but being trained in the school of hard knocks by people like psycho prizefighter Benito Ramirez isn’t. Still, if Stephanie can nab Morelli in a week, she’ll make a cool ten grand. All she has to do is become an expert bounty hunter overnight–and keep herself from getting killed before she gets her man. [Amazon]

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