Those who enjoy the rich, ambitious, character-driven dramas of director Paul Thomas Anderson but who live far from major cities may have to wait a little longer to see his next film, Inherent Vice. Anderson’s adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s pulpy detective noir will get a limited release on December 12, 2014, but will not go into a nationwide release until the first post-holiday weekend of January. It is a similar release pattern to many Oscar-oriented films over the years, notably 2013’s Her (that came out in mid-December but went wide right before the Golden Globes) and 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty, as well as the director’s own There Will Be Blood and Magnolia.
Even though we have not seen much in the way of clips or photographs from the set, this release schedule could mean that Warner Bros. is setting the film up for major awards consideration. This release format can work if Inherent Vice spreads good word of mouth over the end-of-year holidays to impact its gross when it goes wide in the new year. Anderson’s previous film, The Master, exploded in a very limited release in September 2012, making more than $700,000 in only 5 theatres. However, The Weinstein Company expanded that title too quickly, and it was out of theatres soon after. Warner Bros. probably hopes for a better return on their investment, hence the platform release decision.
As it stands, its January 9, 2015 expansion will be up against Taken 3 and the comedy Kitchen Sink, neither of which should share much of an audience with Anderson’s detective noir.
For those unfamiliar with the source material, Inherent Vice follows Larry “Doc” Sportello, played by Joaquin Phoenix, a drug-addled private eye investigating a case where his ex-girfriend and her real estate mogul boyfriend go missing. Rounding out the ensemble is Reese Witherspoon, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Owen Wilson, Maya Rudolph, Katherine Waterston and Michael K. Williams.
Source: The Playlist