The saga of Tintin‘s production and release keeps getting more weird. There was the planned trilogy, shaved back (probably) to only two films, the studio shuffle and fact that even with Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson on board it wasn’t a lock for a green light, and now this: according to Variety, The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn may be the first Spielberg picture in many years to not get a day and date opening at home and abroad.

The supposition is that, while the film will hit on December 23, 2011 in the States, it could open in various European territories in November, possibly even as early as October of that year.

Granted, an early opening for Tintin in Europe makes sense. The character has a far higher level of popularity there than in the US, and strong numbers could help raise awareness here. But what if the movie is savaged in the places where it’s the easiest sell? I’d almost like to see what sort of scramble would take place to shine the movie up for US release if it’s considered a dud in Europe.