Sep 29, 2011

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol Date Changes Again

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol Date Changes Again

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol was originally slated to open on December 16, 2011, but in July Paramount decided to relocate their Tom Cruise tentpole to December 21 to escape direct competition with Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes sequel. (Unfortunately that move put Ethan Hunt up against Daniel Craig in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.) At the time, I wondered how that would affect the film's IMAX bookings. Director Brad Bird used actual IMAX cameras to shoot certain action sequences (including Cruise dangling from the tallest building in the world), like Christopher Nolan did in The Dark Knight, so the IMAX booking actually matters for this movie; it's not just a gimmick. Well, it looks like Paramount weren't able to successfully shuffle IMAX dates in the crowded holiday season. The upshot? Deadline reports that the next Mission's date has changed once again! According to the trade blog, it will now "begin previews" in "select theaters and IMAX" on Friday, December 16 before opening wide as scheduled on Wednesday, December 21. Personally, I'm glad of that, because it means I'll get to see it in IMAX before my holiday travels! But I've got to wonder about the strategy. Won't opening a big, huge movie in "previews" a week before its wide release dilute its opening weekend grosses? I don't see how it can possibly compete now with either Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (in limited release) or The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (after all the biggest fans have already seen it the week prior). In a world where opening weekend gross means everything, I don't want to see a perceived weak opening affect the chances for a fifth film in the franchiseespecially when the next film is expected to head even more in the direction of a team movie rather than a star vehicle.

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