20th Century Fox
"Monuments Men," the George Clooney-directed and -starring WWII drama about a group of men attempting to preserve art and culture from Nazi destruction, was set to open on December 18. Now, the movie will now open February 7, 2014 instead.
Clooney explained to Deadline that the movie just couldn't be finished in time for its projected release date, with finishing touches like special effects and the film's score still needing completion. Clooney said he and his fellow filmmakers were racing against the clock to ensure the movie would be ready for a holiday release, but ultimately decided that the film's quality mattered more than fitting into a crowded Christmastime schedule.
Shifting from a cushy winter release date to the wilds of February usually indicates a movie is failing, and losing out on a chance at Oscar gold is certain to turn some heads. However, Clooney insisted that awards and accolades were never part of the plan for the film, so much as pleasing audiences.
"We've been very clear that we're trying to make our first un-cynical film, a commercial movie," he told Deadline. He continued:
You can tell by the cast we put together that it's going to have light tones to it. We never thought that chasing Oscars was our play, we said it from the first interview. This is a movie we want audiences to see without alienating people like a lot of our films have. What I loved was that Sony and Fox listened and said, OK, let's get out of here. We'd rather the movie be successful and have you put it out when you're comfortable with how it looks. This is a period film and it can't look like CG. It has to look like it's real. We're close, but we're not there yet.
Now, Deadline points out that "Monuments Men" has a chance to score some box office points instead of just critical ones, landing in a similar position as Martin Scorsese's "Shutter Island," which was also bumped to a February release before eventually raking in the dough thanks to a less-crowded release slate. We'll have to wait a few months to see if Clooney and co.'s gambit pays off, but we're excited to see how it turns out.