Saturday, January 16, 2010
Two years too early/late
If there's even been a movie that's cried out for a gimmicky release date, it's Leap Year.
Yet when the film came out last Friday -- making only $9.2 million while fighting for air among the big year-end releases -- it was either two years too early, or two years too late.
With such an apparently interchangeable romantic comedy/travelogue plot, couldn't it have afforded to sit on the shelf for two more years? Or, I should say, wait two years to start filming?
If the production had begun two years earlier, that would have really been something. February 29th was a Friday in 2008. The last time that happened was in 1980, and the next won't be until 2036. Leap Year missed a golden opportunity to come out on Friday, February 29, 2008. The horror, the horror.
But even 2012 would have been okay for it. The 29th falls on a Wednesday that year, and that's the second most popular day of the week for releasing a film.
I contend that not only was the marketing not helped, but actually crippled by this film coming out in 2010. There's a mental disconnect, I think, about a movie called Leap Year coming out in a non-leap year. People just aren't thinking about February 29th in the year 2010. It would be kind of like Disney's A Christmas Carol coming out in June, or the Gary Marshall rom-com Valentine's Day hitting theaters in October instead of next month.
Somehow, we will all get past this and move on.