News

Warner, 'Pooh' Stake Out 2011 Dates

by Ray Subers
 

 
May 13, 2010

Late this afternoon, Warner Bros. Pictures unveiled a set of noteworthy additions to their 2011 release schedule, while Walt Disney Pictures also chimed in, assigning dates to two new animated movies.

Unknown White Male has been scheduled for Jan. 7, 2011. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan), the movie stars Liam Neeson as a doctor who wakes up after a car accident to find that his wife (January Jones) no longer recognizes him and another man (Aidan Quinn) has assumed his identity. Also featuring Diane Kruger, Unknown White Male currently shares the Jan. 7 date with the Untitled Ashton Kutcher/Natalie Portman Project.

Directed by Mikael Hafstrom (1408) and starring Anthony Hopkins, Warner Bros. supernatural drama The Rite debuts Jan. 28, 2011. Allegedly inspired by true events, the movie finds a disillusioned American seminary student attending exorcism school at the Vatican, battling demonic forces in the process. Warner Bros. previously had The Factory, a thriller featuring John Cusack, scheduled for Jan. 28, but that movie's release is now to be determined. The Rite will try to ward off tentatively titled Kids in America, which opens the same day.

The Farrelly Brothers are back with Hall Pass, which opens Feb. 25, 2011. It's a comedy about two married friends (Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis) whose wives (Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate) award them one week of freedom to do whatever they want. With the success of pictures like Dumb and Dumber and There's Something About Mary, the Farrelly Bros. were a hot commodity a decade ago, but they have not found substantial audiences for their more recent fare, including Stuck on You, Fever Pitch and The Heartbreak Kid. While Feb. 2011 has been filling up fast, Hall Pass is actually the first movie to lay claim to the Feb. 25 date.

The third feature from The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters director Seth Gordon, Horrible Bosses is now on the calendar for July 29, 2011. Jason Bateman, Jamie Foxx, Colin Farrell, Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day appear in this dark comedy about three friends who decide to murder their overbearing bosses. Horrible Bosses is currently set to go head-to-head with Jon Favreau's comic book adaptation Cowboys & Aliens.

Two weeks earlier, traditionally-animated children's book adaptation Winnie the Pooh opens. Winnie the Pooh creator A.A. Milne released the first Winnie-the-Pooh book in 1926, and, since then, Pooh and his group of friends like Piglet, Eeyore, Owl and Rabbit have been featured in books, television and even a handful of movies. Pooh's first feature-length movie was The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in 1977, which was a combination of three previously-released shorts. In 2000, Pooh and friends hit the big screen again in The Tigger Movie, which grossed a solid $45 .5 million. Subsequent entries Piglet's Big Movie (2003) and Pooh's Heffalump Movie (2005) fared worse, earning just $23.1 and $18.1 million, respectively.

The new Winnie the Pooh appears to be more focused on the series' title character, though, and it has a prime summer release date, which may help it top previous installments. Winnie the Pooh currently opens July 15, 2011 against Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part Two), and it looks like it will not be in 3D.

Disney also announced a March 22, 2013 date for Reboot Ralph. No plot information is currently available for the movie, though Disney did establish that it is animated and will be released in Disney Digital 3-D.

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