With strong reviews out of the Cannes Film Festival (read ours), appearances at the Toronto International Film Festival and the New York Film Festival on the horizon, and an imminent U.K. release (check out the trailer), you might think that it would be a priority for eOne to get David Cronenberg‘s "Maps To The Stars" into theaters stateside ASAP. But it appears that’s not the case. In fact, the distributor has handed the movie off to Focus World, which means you’ll be waiting a lot longer to see this film, and it may not even be on a big screen near you.
Screen Daily reports whatever awards season chances "Maps To The Stars" might’ve had (three time Oscar nominee Julianne Moore won Best Actress in Cannes for her turn in the movie) have been snuffed out, as the film won’t be released in the U.S. until early 2015. What’s more, Focus World —an arm of Universal’s mini-major Focus Features— might just be giving the film "an ancillary-only release" (meaning VOD and home video, and we’d wager probably a day-and-date release). But the question is why the change in distributors and release plans?
Our guess is that eOne looked at what happened with A24 and the release of Robert Pattinson‘s other Cannes movie, "The Rover," earlier this year and decided to pass. That Aussie thriller came off the Croisette with just as much hype as ‘Maps’ only to earn a meagre $1.8 million at the box office (it effectively tanked the moment it went wide). So as much as he dominates celebrity headlines and blogs, Pattinson isn’t putting butts into theater seats. And frankly, neither is Mia Wasikowska, Julianne Moore or John Cusack. And that’s not to mention that Cronenberg’s "Cosmpolis" didn’t cross $1 million at U.S. box office. eOne probably did the math and didn’t like the numbers.
That being said, we are surprised that a strong limited arthouse release isn’t even being considered, because the aforementioned stars do certainly interest a very strong niche audience, as does Cronenberg. Hopefully Focus World will put the movie up on the big screen somewhere next year, even if it’s just New York and Los Angeles. But for now, if you want to see that movie the way Cronenberg intended, you might need to hustle a ticket to one of the festival screenings (or book a flight to the U.K. where it opens on September 26th).
In the meantime, here’s four international clips, but they are dubbed in German which isn’t ideal. But still, new footage from the film, right?