Sneak Previews of Cameron Crowe’s WE BOUGHT A ZOO to Run over Thanksgiving Weekend

     November 16, 2011


20th Century Fox will be giving sneak previews Cameron Crowe‘s family film We Bought a Zoo in over 800 theaters on November 26th to take advantage of Thanksgiving weekend.  The previews are well in advance of the film’s December 23rd release date, but Fox has a lot of confidence in the movie following reactions from test screenings in both major cities and the heartland.  The sneaks will give the movie a chance to build up buzz and possibly be a stronger contender during awards season, especially since it has to share its December 23rd weekend with The Adventures of Tintin, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, War Horse, The Darkest Hour, and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.

We Bought a Zoo stars Matt Damon as “a single dad who wants to give his family a new start and moves to a home that’s smack in the middle of a down-and-out zoo. Together, he and his two children try to restore the zoo to its former glory.”  The movie also stars Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church, Elle Fanning, and Patrick Fugit.  Hit the jump to check out the trailer. [Update: We’ve been sent the full press release, which is now included after the jump.]

Here’s the full press release:

LOS ANGELES, CA (November 16, 2011) – Moviegoers will get an early Christmas gift, when Twentieth Century Fox holds nationwide sneaks of its holiday picture WE BOUGHT A ZOO, on Saturday, November 26th – four weeks ahead of its December 23rd bow.

Commented Oren Aviv, the Studio’s president and chief marketing officer:  “Once in a while, we’re lucky enough to have a picture to which audiences of all kinds and all ages respond so strongly, that it demands a big and unexpected event.  WE BOUGHT A ZOO is that kind of picture – and Thanksgiving is a great time to share it via this special very early preview.”

The unprecedented lead time between a nationwide preview and the release of the film reflects the Studio’s confidence that director Cameron Crowe’s picture, which weaves together warmth, laughter, loss and a spirit of optimism, will generate excellent word of mouth.  Test screenings of the film in both major cities and the heartland have produced exceptional responses across wide-ranging demographics, so the Studio is using one family holiday to prime the release for the next holiday.

The Studio is partnering with the social media service TOUT for a “TOUT Takeover,” in which sneaks attendees can TOUT their reviews of the film, and present their own experiences involving “20 Seconds of Courage” – playing off a key theme of WE BOUGHT A ZOO. (One lucky TOUT entry will win a trip for four, to the San Diego Zoo’s “Ultimate Zoo Experience.”)  The sneak’s robust social media outreach will also include a live chat with Cameron Crowe, following the film showings, and tie-ins with Twitter and Facebook.

Cameron Crowe stated, “I think I’m the one getting the early holiday gift, because I’m really excited about these sneaks.  Holding previews so far ahead of our opening is a bold move – but that’s one of the many reasons I like it.  I couldn’t be prouder of WE BOUGHT A ZOO and of the cast and crew that came along with me on this journey.  And I’m looking forward to chatting with audiences online following the sneaks.”

WE BOUGHT A ZOO is a funny, inspiring and true story about the power of family to persevere in the face of extraordinary challenges. Starring Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson and Thomas Haden Church, the film is about a single dad (Damon) who, looking to give his family a much-needed fresh start, moves to a home situated in the middle of a zoo, which he and his two children will attempt to bring back to its once glorious state.  Crowe co-wrote the screenplay, with Aline Brosh McKenna, and produces, with Julie Yorn and Rick Yorn.

One of the world’s largest producers and distributors of motion pictures, Fox Filmed Entertainment produces, acquires and distributes motion pictures throughout the world.  These motion pictures are produced or acquired by the following units of FFE:  Twentieth Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox International Pictures, and Twentieth Century Fox Animation.

Here’s the official synopsis for We Bought a Zoo:

This holiday season, acclaimed filmmaker Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous) directs an amazing and true story about a single dad who decides his family needs a fresh start, so he and his two children move to the most unlikely of places: a zoo. With the help of an eclectic staff, and with many misadventures along the way, the family works to return the dilapidated zoo to its former wonder and glory.


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