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‘Anna Karenina’ Bumped Back One Week; Weinsteins Finally Date Sean Penn-Led ‘This Must Be the Place’

Written by on August 3, 2012 

With official festival lineups having been released for both Toronto and Venice, the shape of the upcoming Oscar season is beginning to form more concretely. Yes, we still haven’t seen many of these films, but now that we know precisely which ones to look forward to — like, say, Terrence Malick‘s previously uncertain To the Wonder — forming a mental mold of the months ahead is as feasible a task as it’s been all year.

It helps, too, that various studios have been playing around with theatrical release dates. The Weinstein Company, for instance, has shuffled the debuts of two of their most-anticipated fall offerings — whereas Killing Them Softly was once scheduled to precede The Master‘s ascent into theaters, the agenda’s since been turned upside-down. Paul Thomas Anderson‘s There Will Be Blood follow-up will now drop on September 14 — a change to make any cinephile giddy with excitement — while Andrew Dominik‘s Brad Pitt-starring crime drama will tag along soon thereafter, on October 19. They’ve also finally set a date for the Sean Penn-starring This Must Be the Place, which premiered to mixed response (including our own) back at Cannes 2011. The Paolo Sorrentino-directed drama also starring Frances McDormand will now open in limited release on November 2nd. [EW]

But that’s not the entirety of the big-ticket reorganizing that’s been going on, as Variety is reporting that Focus Features has pushed back Joe Wright‘s Anna Karenina to November 16. It’s a minor alteration, to be sure, only a week later than the film’s earlier plans to begin a domestic release on November 9. Though it may seem like a negligible shift, the recent announcement of Lincoln‘s theatrical release may shed some light on Focus’s decision — with Steven Spielberg‘s biopic set to expand nationally on November 16, Wright‘s film is now able to avoid doing the exact same thing at the exact same time.

It’s clear that Focus has high awards-game hopes for Wright‘s prestigious adaptation, but with Moonrise Kingdom, perhaps the most universally adored film of Wes Anderson‘s career, and Roger Michell‘s Hyde Park on Hudson also looming in the background, it’ll be interesting to track how the studio budgets their efforts between the three potentials.

Do you read anything else into this one-week release-date change? Do you have high expectations for Anna Karenina? This Must Be the Place?

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