They Bumped Gravity?

Let me get this straight: Alfonso Cuaron‘s allegedly groundbreaking Gravity, an IMAX-filmed 3D space drama that wrapped principal photography roughly eight months ago, won’t open later this year but sometime in 2013 because of competition for IMAX screens from Skyfall and The Hobbit and one or two others?

That sounds to me like 2001: A Space Odyssey being bumped out its April 1968 release slot because of competition for screens from Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang or…you know, something of that calibre.

The vision of Alfonso Cuaron doesn’t make way for safe audience-pleasing franchise films from Sam Mendes or Peter Jackson…c’mon. Especially with George Clooney and Sandra Bullock toplining. Methinks there’s possibly a bit more to this than the availability of IMAX screens.

  • Jesse Crall

    Especially since if Gravity’s as ethereal as it sounds, it will draw in plenty of adults less likely to see the film in IMAX 3-D.

    Wait, I just saw that the budget was 80 mil, so it may really need some wide release 3500-4000 screen cum shot with the pumped up prices. There isn’t much of a track record for such adult-oriented 3-D movies, though.

  • RoyBatty Returns

    Jeff’s out of the country for a week and already seems to forget how the BUSINESS of show business works.

    Besides, if you decide to shoot an adult-oriented film in IMAX, there’s gonna be restrictions on your release dates.

  • Jeffrey Wells

    Yeah, those “adult-oriented IMAX films”…sure are a marketing hurdle! The United States of Moron.

  • Jesse Crall

    Eh, foreign audiences lap up slop like The Tourist with an unnerving vigor. Morons are a worldwide menace.

    “I’m really looking forward to Gravity, but 80 mil plus another, what, 50 in marketing costs is pretty damn steep for two people in space, no matter their star power. I might go for a Shutter Island kind of deal; release it as adult fare during the dog days of late winter and play up the sci-fi angle rather than stick it in a crowded awards field and give it a prestige release. From a $$$ standpoint, I think WB made the right call. ” -Guy who knows jack shit about marketing.

  • Glenn Kenny

    C’mon.

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  • JD

    No disrespect to Alfonso Cuaron, but just because the movie’s set in space doesn’t automatically make it 2001.

  • Bob Violence

    for the record, this was not filmed in IMAX or in 3D — it was with the Arri Alexa and is being converted in post

  • DavidF

    Didn’t Jeff just do a huge turnaround on The Hobbit, talking about how great the 48fps looks? And now it’s getting compared to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?

    Comparing Bond to Chitty Bang Bang seems unfair too though, as I type, it occurs to me they were both written by Ian Fleming. Also, perhaps Moonraker isn’t so far off….but still!

  • Sams

    The “bit more” are the results of the test screening that took place. The other films opening at the time are not competing for the same audience. No matter how you look at it, the studio clearly has no confidence this is going to sell or even has any awards potential. But they must have known this after reading the script. Opening it in Feb isn’t going to change its fortunes although expectation will have been considerably lowered.

  • JLC

    Clooney’s last space movie was Solaris. I’d bump that for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang even today.

  • Krillian

    Skyfall looks truly scrumptious!

  • C.C. Baxter

    Why is a guy who has been writing about the business for 30+ years suddenly acting like he knows nothing about it? Yeah, there are “other reasons” — like the fact that there is still a ton of effects work to be done, but this is primarily about money, marketing, and finding a spot on the calendar where this can come somewhere close to making it’s money back. It won’t be done in time to come out significantly before The Hobbit, so it’s going to have to come out a few months after. Do you genuinely think that they’d bump the lucrative Hobbit from its Christmas spot to make room for a difficult character study for smart adults in any country?

  • Ray

    “Why is a guy who has been writing about the business for 30+ years suddenly acting like he knows nothing about it? ”

    If ever there was a single line that belonged atop HE’s masthead THIS IS THAT LINE.

  • dino velvet

    LOOOOOOL yeah audiences everywhere are going to be shoving Bond and Hobbit aside to get to a movie where Sandra Bullock, um, floats for two hours. Minor spoiler – Clooney isn’t “toplining” shit. It’s a Sandra Bullock one woman show.

  • Luke Y. Thompson

    Most people I know who go on about wanting “grown-up” movies are very vocal about HATING 3D and Imax, and will often talk about how their home system is preferable to any theater. So yes, the marketing will be a challenge.

  • Raising_Kaned

    LYT –

    Most of the people that go on about their home system are probably the biggest audience for the 3-D/IMAX stuff. Generally speaking, those are your modern “media collectors” (esp. the single males). The “grown-up” movie audience probably still uses DVD instead of Blu-Rays, and the chances that they have a flatscreen 1080 are probably about 50/50 (a lot of people that I overhear at the arthouse don’t even own TVs at all, which they mention as a point of pride).

    Now I know that’s a helluva lot of generalizing, but your comment didn’t really ring true to me. The consumers with the best audio/visual home systems are usually the moviegoers seeing The Avengers at midnight on opening Friday, not the ones that are sitting at home watching Sherlock Holmes on PBS (as good as that is…).

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  • The Thing

    Cheap stun guns, I feel the same way.

    But yeah, I’ll give you the 2001 comparison, in that it’s a super-intelligent character piece about humanity. As some people said, it’s 2 hours of people floating in space, which, if the general reaction to 2001 is an indication, will bore the fuck out of people.

    “Hey, let’s see that sci-fi movie with Clooney and Bullock!”

    “Nah, I don’t want to see 2 people talk for 2 hours as they float around until they die. Let’s see the Hobbit. Lord of the Rings was awesome, and this looks like it’ll have Gandalf being even more of a badass.”

  • MDOC

    “Points to the 14.970 million dollar total domestic gross of the Clooney in Space movie Solaris which opened on 2,406 screens in 2002.”

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    Yeah, those “adult-oriented IMAX films”…sure are a marketing hurdle! The United States of Moron.