There are a handful of extremely strong looking movies that are left for us to look forward to this year (A Serious Man, Where The Wild Things Are, for example), but it’s a list that is quickly shrinking. Inglourious Basterds must be checked off as it badasses its way through theaters this weekend, and now we’ve completely lost a huge one; Shutter Island. Citing the all around shittiness of the current economic climate, Paramount has punted Scorsese’s film to February 19th, 2010.

There are a number of concerns when a movie of this caliber is moved to what is traditionally considered a dumping ground of a month. February 19th is a date that seems to pretty much annihilate any chances for Academy attention. I’ve seen Silence of The Lambs used as an example of an early-in-the-year film that ended up taking some Oscars, but I’ll see your Silence and raise you a Zodiac (not to mention 18 years). 10 Best Picture nods certainly helps the film’s chances of not being completely forgotten come March 7th, 2010, but I doubt there would be attention beyond that now-inclusive category.

So a hugely Oscar-buzzed film is moved past awards contention despite all the big names and good word involved… Why?

The word around the campfire, at least as Nikke Finke has heard it, is that, “Paramount told the filmmakers it doesn’t have the financing in 2009 to spend the $50M to $60M necessary to market a big awards pic like this.”

Finke continues on to say that a source of hers contradicts that and instead blames lackluster DVD sales that are pinching into Paramount’s ability to market the film properly. Naturally, Paramount is claiming foresight, and there is a chance that things could work out for Shutter Island. The February date means that DiCaprio will be available for overseas publicity (he would not be during the fall), and the studio may possibly have more cash flow to market the film both around release, and around awards time.

One can only hope the Shutter Island move is a decision based on sound strategy, and not a total dump.

Source | Deadline Hollywood Daily

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