When you’re a studio executive who has his eye on that Oscar prize, your schedule tends to move around this time of year. For Harvey Weinstein, Oscar gold is that metaphorical paint he needs to huff every 12 months or else he loses it and starts putting New York Observer film critics in headlocks.
Acquiring Madonna’s unmitigated directorial disaster “W.E.” prior to its Venice Film Festival debut was one of Weinstein’s less-inspired career moves. He obviously wants to be in business with the Material Older Lady and is thus pretending to care about when and where he releases the thing (though he’d probably prefer to dump it on Blu-ray). Weinstein is making a big show of moving "W.E." out of the busy Christmas release schedule, and giving it a prime February 3rd wide release, taking advantage of Madonna’s rumored Super Bowl halftime show performance on February 5th. Those halftime shows are always awful though, so we’re betting this plan backfires.
Weinstein seems to be focusing all of his energy on “The Artist,” and “My Week with Marilyn.” He’s moved “The Iron Lady” as deep into December as possible and "Coriolanus" is scheduled for a December 2nd release, but anything is still liable to change depending which way the Oscar buzz is moving.
To be sure, The Weinstein Company is still planning to release "W.E." on December 9th for that one-week Oscar-qualifying run. It's a standard practice, allowing studios to get press and awards season heat that will hopefully build into strong(er) box office when the film rolls wider.
“Albert Nobbs”, “Rampart,” “We Need to Talk About Kevin” and "Coriolanus" are all going that route. But whether this strategy works for Madge's movie remains to be seen, as most critics so far have been unsparing in their reviews.
The one bright spot "W.E." potentially has is in the costume design department, and perhaps it will pick up a nod there. Weinstein doesn’t care what the category is — a nomination is a nomination. And as long as his studio has the most nominations when they are announced in January, he will be as happy as someone like Harvey Weinstein is capable of being. [THR]