If there’s one problem Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull won’t have, it’s bloat: contrary to Jeffrey Wells’s Tuesday dispatch (which claimed the locked cut clocked in at 140 minutes and change), I’m hearing that the film runs a more Indy-like 123 minutes (with credits).
This might contradict John Williams’s claim that he’s been scoring seven twenty-minute reels, but it could be that he was just quoting a max run time for each reel. As noted by the commenter “Wrecktum” at Wells’s Hollywood Elsewhere (yes, “Wrecktum”), the longest a seven-reel film is likely to run is 139 minutes; he/she also adds that the shortest seven-reel feature they’ve seen was 117 minutes. Granted, I’ve very limited experience with theatrical projection, but that sounds about right. Perhaps someone with a little more knowledge on the subject could chime in below.
The 123 minutes also jibes with one of my source’s claims that Spielberg was bringing Crystal Skull in at less than two hours sans credits. Honestly, when I heard that 140-minute-plus run time, I was puzzled. Since I know pretty much how the narrative transpires, I could not for the life of me account for those extra twenty minutes. Had Spielberg secretly re-shot another truck chase/fight? Added in a couple of Rocky IV-style montages? Padded out the end credits with unseen Cannonball Run II bloopers?
No, this makes sense. It also makes me feel a little better – albeit about my sources, not the movie.