Paramount’s done it to Zodiac again!! David Fincher‘s hunting-the-zodiac-killer melodrama was going to open on 1.17.07 — now the national release date has been bumped to 3.2.07, according to Box-Office Mojo. And this for a movie that will absolutely be finished and ready to screen by 11.10 or 11.15, according to a well-placed source.
I’m sure we’ll be hearing a nicely measured, sensible-sounding explanation within the next day or two. Example: “March is a better release date than mid-January and we want this film to be as big a hit as possible .” I know they aren’t burying it — if they wanted to do that they’d release it in mid-April. One definite advantage from Paramount’s perspective is that now they won’t have to bother with Zodiac in the middle of their Oscar campaigns for Dreamgirls and World Trade Center, which will be more than enough fish to fry for their p.r. team. One other plus is that guys like me can no longer bellyache about their refusal to give it a late-December platform opening.
All I know is, Paramount just won’t stop treating this movie like a poor relation and kicking it around like a tin can. They obviously don’t feel it’s very commercial, they don’t want it in the way, and so they’re keeping it on the bench a few weeks more. The delay certainly isn’t due to any plans for extra work to be done. Even if Fincher wanted to go out and shoot extra footage right now Par could still release it by 1.17 — George Hickenlooper‘s Factory Girl is doing extra lensing as we speak and yet it’ll be shown to critics by early December and released into theatres about three weeks later.