As if waiting a month after the Brits got to see Tomas Alfredson's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy wasn't enough, those of us stateside moviegoers anticipating the upcoming adaptation of John le Carre's spy thriller will have to wait even longer now as Pete Hammond at Deadline says Focus has moved the release date from November 18 to December 9. The film releases in the UK on September 16 following its Venice Film Festival premiere and I guess we can look at the move a few ways.
First, releasing in November against the likes of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 and Happy Feet Two may have made for good counter-programming, but any kind of performance the film may have had would have been overshadowed by broken box-office records and Twilight articles spamming the entertainment headlines. On top of that, it would have been competing for headlines against the likes of David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method, Alexander Payne's The Descendants and Martin Scorsese's Hugo just one week later. Probably a good move in that case to slide out of the pre-Thanksgiving weekend slot.
As for the December locale, the separation from the September UK release now gives the film some room to breathe, buzz to die down and time for it to build back up once again. Should the film be reviewed well, anticipation for that December release should be high as the film is obviously looked at as an Oscar contender for the likes of Best Picture and Best Actor for Gary Oldman with other categories sure to follow considering the supporting cast and talent behind-the-scenes.
On December 9, Tinker, Tailor will have a little breathing room if Focus goes wide as would be expected. That same weekend the Weinstein's will release Madonna's W.E. and Jason Reitman's Young Adult will hit limited theaters before expanding a week later, which is when Roman Polanski's Carnage and the Meryl Streep starrer, The Iron Lady will hit theaters. Counter-programming against more adult features is likely a better prospect even if it means we have to wait three weeks more to see it.