Jul 27, 2011

Tradecraft: Mission: Impossible Team Flees World's Greatest Detective

Last month, Box Office Mojo published an editorial advocating that Paramount's Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol abandon its long-held December 16 release date to get away from the Robert Downey Jr. sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, scheduled by Warner Bros. to debut the same day. Today, Deadline reports that that has indeed happened. Paramount has shifted the fourth Mission: Impossible movie back a week to December 21. But is this a matter of fleeing one potential box office enemy only to run smack into another? That date pits Tom Cruise directly against Daniel Craig in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. While the Craig movie, directed by David Fincher (who was at one time slotted to direct Mission: Impossible III), will be rated R and the Cruise movie PG-13, I'm still not convinced they aren't going after the same audience. I know that my own loyalties will be seriously split! The new position also ensures that Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol will still be fresh over the lucrative Christmas holiday, but it will also face even more competition over those days, including Steven Spielberg's Tintin. It's also not clear how the date change will affect Mission: Impossible's number of IMAX screens. It will be competing directly with the 3D Tintin for those limited venues. Hopefully that hiccup will be resolved, as director Brad Bird actually shot some key action sequences on IMAX cameras, meaning that the image will expand vertically to fill the entire, giant IMAX screen during those moments, like Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight. Personally, I'm worried that the new date will preclude me from seeing the film in IMAX, as I'm always away from Los Angeles - and away from real IMAX screens - for Christmas!

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