Only a few years ago, it seemed that you’d only get blockbuster releases between May and July, and clustered around Thanksgiving and Christmas (for more family-oriented fare, at least). But that kind of release calendar ghettoization has long since fallen apart: March is now one of the key dates, and almost every month of the year sees at least one studio put out a hugely expensive blockbuster. 2013 looks to be the most unrelenting year yet, from the release of “Gangster Squad” on January 11th through to the second “The Hobbit” at the end of the year, almost every week has a giant film on release. And one of the larger gaps on the calendar seems to have been filled.
Universal‘s “Oblivion,” the sci-fi epic starring Tom Cruise and directed by “Tron: Legacy” helmer Joseph Kosinski, had been set to kick off the summer season at the end of April. But spotting a gap, and the chance to get some distance before “Iron Man 3” hits theaters on May 3rd, the studio has moved it up an extra week, with the film now set to hit April 19th. But that’s not all; it’ll also play exclusively in IMAX theaters another whole week earlier from April 12th. Given that the March releases (“GI Joe: Retaliation,” “Jack The Giant Killer“) aren’t looking especially strong, and there’s little real competition scheduled the rest of the month, the move certainly makes sense for the studio, especially as they had great success putting “Fast Five” and “Battleship” out in mid-April in the rest of the world.
The studio has also slated another couple of movies for 2013 releases. We mentioned Ron Howard‘s “Rush,” which stars Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl as Formula 1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda, as a potential Oscar surprise for this year, but you can certainly draw a line through that one at present; Universal has set the film for a September 20th, 2013 release. September’s become the go-to month for grown-up fare, and the film will have to compete the next week with “Runner Runner” and “Paranoia,” but this seems like a decent slot, which will see the film in the Oscar fray (could it end up bowing at TIFF? The dates certainly match up).
Finally, Guillermo del Toro-produced horror “Mama” has also found a slot a few months away, as it’ll hit on January 18th. The film stars Jessica Chastain and “Game of Thrones” actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as a couple pursuing a pair of kids in the hope of bringing back their own dead children, and will be billed as ‘Guillermo del Toro Presents.’ January’s competitive this year: the film will open against Arnold Schwarzenegger comeback pic “The Last Stand” and Mark Wahlberg/Russell Crowe thriller “Broken City,” with other horror fare like “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D,” “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters” and “The Conjuring” all set to hit elsewhere in the month, so hopefully it can still find its audience. [The Hollywood Reporter]