The movie schedule for 2011 continues to take shape - as four DreamWorks films have newly announced theatrical release dates.
Steven Spielberg is the headliner of the announced releases, as he will now have two films in theaters at the same time come December 2011. Spielberg's War Horse, a WWI drama about the relationship between a boy and his horse, has been pushed from August 2011 to December 28th, 2011.
Of course, this is to capitalize on the holiday market for a family-friendly war epic that is sure to make tons of money and rack-up critical acclaim heading into the awards season. Though, DreamWorks claims the move is the result of War Horse feeling "like a holiday movie."
Interestingly, this new date is only five days after another Spielberg film, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn will be released. While some find the move suspicious, it's actually pretty ingenious. Not only will Spielberg benefit from the offbeat buzz of battling himself in the box office, but the two films will put a stranglehold on nearly ever demographic - not to mention Tintin is a Sony release.
DreamWorks has also announced The Help, starring Emma Stone and Bryce Dallas Howard in an adaptation of a novel of the same name by Kathryn Stockett, will release on August 12th, 2011. As of now, the film's only competition is a comedy, 30 Minutes or Less starring Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari and Danny McBride, which is meant for a totally different crowd.
In addition, Hugh Jackman's next potential blockbuster, Real Steel, has been moved from November 18th to October 7th 2011. Shawn Levy directs the robot boxing movie with a standout human cast - alongside Jackman will be Evangeline Lilly, Kevin Durand, and Anthony Mackie. Jackman plays a washed-up boxer who now coaches massive, 8-foot-tall robots in the futuristic world of robot boxing.
DreamWorks claims the reason for the bump is “to give the Hugh Jackman event pic room to grow and play into the holiday frame.” Considering the other DreamWorks films in play during the Fall season, the move makes sense - providing space from Spielberg's War Horse. If the studio's high expectations for Real Steel are accurate, a month would not have been enough time to establish a full run.
The other DreamWorks picture with a new release date is Fright Night 3D. The star-studded remake of the 1985 cult classic will get to scare up box office dollars on August 19th, 2011. The remake stars Anton Yelchin, David Tennant, Colin Farrell, Imogen Potts, Toni Collette and Christopher Mintz-Plasse.
Frankly, the fuss over Spielberg's "double release" is a bit overblown. If both films are good, people will pay. Many fans go to multiple films in a weekend, and would likely come out in droves to see a pair of Spielberg movies. Let's not forget these films will be in theaters for plenty of time to provide opportunities for double-dipping.
Of all the movies mentioned above, the film I am most looking forward to is Real Steel. While some moviegoers might be skeptical of the concept, the idea thrills me to the bone. I'm sure War Horse will be an epic drama somewhere along the lines of one of his lesser-talked-about masterpieces, Empire of the Sun - but I can't resist a robot movie with good acting and real plot development.
Which films are you looking forward to the most? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.