'The Fighter' Set to Enter Ring This December
by Ray Subers
June 23, 2010
This afternoon, Paramount Pictures announced a date for David O. Russell's The Fighter, while making minor date adjustments for 2011 animated features Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom and Rango.
The Fighter is now scheduled to open Dec. 10, 2010 opposite The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Starring Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg and Amy Adams, the movie tells the true story of boxer "Irish" Micky Ward (Wahlberg) who, with the help of his half-brother and trainer Dicky Ecklund (Bale), managed to make an unlikely run for the welterweight title in the 1980s. By the time it opens, it will have been four years since the last significant boxing movie, Rocky Balboa. Other recent December boxing tales include Million Dollar Baby ($100.5 million), Ali ($58.2 million) and The Hurricane ($50.7 million).
At various points in pre-production, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt were attached to star in Bale's role, while Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, Requiem for a Dream) was set to direct. Ultimately they all withdrew, leaving room for Bale and Russell to move on to the project. The Fighter is director David O. Russell's first movie since I Heart Huckabees in 2004. Following that movie's poor box office run ($12.8 million), behind-the-scenes footage was leaked which infamously showed Russell unleashing a profanity-laced tirade on star Lily Tomlin. Russell isn't the only talent on The Fighter who has had this issue: a recording of Bale's Terminator Salvation on-set meltdown was a viral hit last year. Regardless of these unfortunate public relations issues, Paramount's December date assignment shows a lot of confidence in The Fighter as a candidate for both decent box office returns and awards season attention.
Paramount shifted Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom up a day to Thursday, May 26, 2011. Their press release indicated that they had shifted it from Friday, June 3; however, a DreamWorks Animation press release from last month had already revealed the change in weekend. The sequel to Kung Fu Panda, which made over $630 million worldwide, is now set to battle The Hangover 2 for Memorial Day weekend crowds.
Rango, an animated feature directed by Gore Verbinski and featuring the voice of his Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp, has been moved from Mar. 18, 2011 to Mar. 4, 2011. While this is only a minor change, it sets Rango up to face James Cameron-produced 3D thriller Sanctum and leaves Beastly and The Dark Fields to duke it out on March 18.
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