I wonder what persuaded CAA, River Road Entertainment, Participant Media and Imagenation Abu Dhabi to cut a deal for Summit Entertainment to distribute Doug Liman‘s Fair Game? Favorable financial terms, I’m sure, as well as a strong p & a commitment and a promise of marketing vigor when it opens. I for one would have had second thoughts in view of Summit’s half-hearted track record with The Hurt Locker, and to a lesser extent The Ghost Writer.
The bottom-line impression (as opposed to whatever the reality may be) is that while Summit is proficient with Oscar campaigns, they haven’t been that tenacious with their theatrical releases. They seemed awfully hesitant when it came to the distributing of The Hurt Locker, taking forever to commit to a release date after picking it up at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival, and then distributing it half-heartedly when it opened in June 2009, barely acquainting moviegoers with the name and the subject before turning tail and running for cover when the initial theatrical revenues proved disappointing. I recognize that The Ghost Writer was never going to do huge business due to its lack of Eloi selling points, but I don’t remember Summit doing all that much to remind Average Joes in print and online ads that it was unmistakably the first high-quality film of 2010. Okay, they may have “said” this in ads, but not in a way that made much of an impression on me.