The last time we reported on Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson's 3D motion-capture project The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn back in March, Spielberg had just finished wrapping a 32 day shoot of motion-capture lensing. The project was then handed to Jackson who will be working with the film for the next 15 months or so with his New Zealand-based special effects company, Weta.
However, with Tintin looking to be a major release for combined backers Sony and Paramount, the studios have already set a release date. But there's an interesting thing to note: Tintin will be released internationally over a month before it hits U.S. theaters!
The reason for this delay is because the U.S. is one of the few places in the world that isn't all that familiar with Tintin. That lower level of popularity in the States - compared to Europe in particular - most likely means that Sony and Paramount want to test the waters, so to speak, before they release it over the pond.
An international release before a U.S. premiere will give the studios the critical reaction and box office results to judge how to handle promoting Tintin in the States. With the kind of revolutionary special effects and motion capture that is being employed, I'm guessing that at the very least American audiences will be lured by the eye-candy the movie offers. Most movies usually get a U.S. release before they go international - so I guess us Brits, French, Germans, Spaniards and so forth (you get the idea...), can bask in the luxury of getting this big movie on our screens first :-P .
Considering Tintin's popularity in most of the world's markets (it's been translated into over 50 languages), and low-profile in the U.S., it's entirely possible that the film will do well internationally but tank in the States. If that turns out to be the case, would it mean the planned Tintin sequels won't happen?
With the team that's behind this project - particularly Spielberg and Jackson - that would be a damn shame. This movie has the potential to be something really great, especially with them combining the classic character with this state-of-the-art motion capture technology. I'm really looking forward to what we will get with this one.
The first Tintin movie is to be directed by Steven Spielberg, with Peter Jackson on-board to produce. It will star Jamie Bell (as the title character), Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Daniel Craig. The second movie is planned to be directed by Jackson (with Spielberg presumably producing), and a third is planned but no director has been set yet.
What do you make of the studios planning to release Tintin internationally over a month before a U.S. release? Are you a fan of Tintin and are you looking forward to the movie?
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secrets of the Unicorn is to be released internationally in late October/early November 2011, and in the U.S. on December 23rd, 2011.