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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Delayed: A Cinephile's Nightmare

At the beginning of every season, I like to take a step back and look at the upcoming releases. I'll watch a few trailers and make mental notes around which holidays or special occasions the releases lie, gearing myself up for the exciting (or depressing) future of the box office. Of course, right around these summer doldrums lingers a dark, evil word that no cinephile wishes to see: DELAYED.

Now, there are many perfectly valid reasons for a film to be delayed, the most obvious of which being that it's just not done. Reshoots happen, schedules get pushed back, special effects need perfecting, and so on. This is an unfriendly reminder that humans are imperfect, and as such, sometimes things don't happen on time. Take, for instance, Gangster Squad, which was slated for a September opening. After the Dark Knight Rises theatre shooting, Warner Brothers decided to pull Ganger Squad due to a similar scene. The movie is now undergoing intense reshoots for a release early next year.

But delays aren't always so innocent. Sometimes studios delay films because they've exhausted their marketing budgets for the year. Other times, they look at the award season competition and gamble on which year will give them better results. After all, even film people are in the business of making money.

Worst of all, though, is the unexplained delayed. Really, I'm talking about Baz Lurhmann's The Great Gatsby being pushed from this December to next summer with no explanation. Perhaps it's because studios were worried that the box office is only big enough for one Leonardo DiCaprio film in December (what nonsense!), but nobody knows for sure. Instead, we'll all let out a collective sigh and rearrange our mental schedules.

Wallowing cinephiles, remember this: there are always more movies. Even if we have to wait with anticipation for some, we have innumerable others available to us. Let's just hope that the studios don't forgot how quickly our eyes can wander, though.

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