October 27, 2016
        "The Circle" and "The Lost City of Z": Which potential 2016 contenders got bumped to 2017?                Natalie Portman, Janelle Monáe, Matthew McConaughey, Bryce Dallas Howard, Edgar Ramirez, Stacy Keach at Hollywood Film Awards                Viola Davis will be campaigned in Best Supporting Actress for "Fences"                Mel Gibson to be Honored with the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Michael Moore drops a surprise new film with "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars        

“War Horse,” “Tintin” shift release dates – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse” will be crossing the finish line a few days earlier than expected.

Spielberg’s adaptation of an award-winning novel and Tony-winning play shifted its release date from Dec. 28 to Christmas Day, according to EW.com. The WWI drama, about a young man’s quest to reunite with his beloved horse, harbors Oscar aspirations. But also, by claiming a Christmas Day release, puts itself in a great position to reach multiple mainstream audience members seeking holiday entertainment options.

“After seeing the film, it became clear to us that ‘War Horse’ is something audiences should be able to see when they’re together with their families on Christmas Day,” DreamWorks spokesman Chip Sullivan told the site. “They have the time to see multiple movies during the holidays, and we want to be one of their choices when they are most available.”

Oddly enough, “War Horse” isn’t the only Spielberg film shifting its dates this December. The prolific Oscar-winning director also has the motion-capture animation feature “The Adventures of Tintin” coming out on Dec. 21 … which is three days earlier than its previously announced release date of Dec. 23.

And while other features are jockeying for position, Brad Bird tells Hero Complex that his “Mission: Impossible” sequel, “Ghost Protocol,” will open five days earlier than anticipated – and it’s opening on IMAX screens across the country.

“We were able to get five days,” Bird says of his film, which now opens on Dec. 16.

“Every studio likes to have bragging rights to the biggest opening numbers, and the problem is what that does is it perpetuates the approach of getting a zillion prints out there so your opening number is the biggest. But to me that is an intellectual thing. The average viewer doesn’t experience how much money is made on opening weekend. What they experience is their experience. I wanted the first people that see the film to see it big with a sharp image and great sound systems, so when they went out and talked about the movie they saw, we would know that they had seen it at its best.”

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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