Don’t act so surprised. We pretty much figured this might happen when Magnolia picked up the film at the beginning of the year and as is usual for the indie label, one of the biggest arthouse films of the year will be available in your living room first before you can see it on the big screen. That’s right, Lars Von Trier‘s “Melancholia” will go digital on October 7th before getting a limited release on November 11th.
We’ll leave the VOD/theatrical debate for others but it’s a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, if you live in a flyover state that probably wouldn’t get “Melancholia” anyway, it means you can watch the movie right away and not long after it hits TIFF and the New York Film Festival. But on the other, it means that most will only experience Von Trier’s gorgeously shot film on a small screen, a shame really because this emotionally apocalyptic film might the director’s best looking effort in years and certainly deserves to be viewed in a theater. But realistically speaking, “Melancholia” was never going to light up the box office. A two hour plus film that is a metaphor for depression — even with a cast featuring Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Alexander Skarsgård, Stellan Skarsgård and Udo Kier — there weren’t going be lines around the block for it.
For Oscar watchers, take note. The VOD bow won’t affect any potential campaign for Dunst as the film already had its Oscar qualifying theatrical run very quietly in July in Los Angeles (you snooze, you lose). A new U.S. poster — which looks exactly like every international iteration of the one-sheet so far — is below, with a couple of new pics. [Vulture]