Fox Shuffles 2011, Adds 'Prometheus' to 2012
by Ray Subers
January 14, 2011
20th Century Fox made the first major schedule change of the year this afternoon, adding Ridley Scott's Prometheus and comedy The Big Year to the calendar and shuffling six other titles, including Rise of the Apes and Mr. Popper's Penguins.
Prometheus was scheduled for Mar. 9, 2012, where it will face Tim Burton stop-motion animated movie Frankenweenie. While the project was originally intended to be a prequel to Alien, director Ridley Scott and screenwriter Damon Lindelof (Lost) ultimately came up with an original sci-fi story tangentially related to the Alien universe, Fox announced. Prometheus will be Mr. Scott's first sci-fi movie since Blade Runner, which disappointed at the box office in 1982 but became regarded as a classic by many. Swedish actress Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Sherlock Holmes 2) is the only named castmember thus far, though expect that to change very soon.
Planet of the Apes prequel Rise of the Apes has been pushed back from June 24 to Wednesday, Nov. 23. While no reason was given for the change, it is clear that the extra five months will allow more time for the movie's complicated motion-capture effects as well as an added head-start for Fox's marketing team. The move leaves Cars 2 as the only nationwide release on June 24 and pits Rise of the Apes against The Muppets, Arthur Christmas and Project X over Thanksgiving weekend.
The announcement's only new title, The Big Year, was slated for Oct. 14. The comedy stars Jack Black, Steve Martin, Owen Wilson and a handful of other prominent names and focuses on bird watchers who compete to spot the rarest North American birds in an annual competition. While none of these stars have had impressive box office track records as of late, director David Frankel is responsible for recent hits The Devil Wears Prada and Marley and Me. The Big Year is currently scheduled to face Footloose (2011), The Thing (2011) and The Three Musketeers (2011), though it's unlikely that all three of those remakes keep that date.
Mr. Popper's Penguins was the only movie Fox moved up on the schedule: the children's book adaptation was relocated from Aug. 12 to June 17. The Jim Carrey vehicle will now square off against The Green Lantern and Bad Teacher. Romantic comedy Monte Carlo will take Popper's Aug. 12 date and vacate its previous July 1 slot.
Unsurprisingly, Jonah Hill comedy The Sitter was moved off July 15 (also known as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Day) to the slightly more hospitable Aug. 5. Even though it's getting away from Harry Potter, it's still far from competition-free: comedies The Change-Up and The Smurfs are currently on the schedule there, as is alien invasion thriller The Darkest Hour.
Andrew Niccol's sci-fi thriller Now, starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried, has shifted back a month from Sept. 30 to Oct. 28, where it will battle Lionsgate horror movie Dibbuk Box. Taking the Sept. 30 slot is Anna Faris-Chris Evans comedy What's Your Number?, which had previously been slated for April 29.
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