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Just this week, we previewed the fall movie slate, with Nicolas Winding Refn’s action flick Drive topping the list. Another action movie, Safe, appeared as one of my “Critics’ Picks,” but if you were looking forward to seeing that one in October, you’ll have to wait a little while.
Led by action mainstay Jason Statham, Safe focuses on a man trying to save the life of a young girl, played by Catherine Chan. It was set for a promising stateside release on October 28, going up against period piece/thriller Anonymous, comedy sequel Johnny English Reborn, and Johnny Depp vehicle The Rum Diary, with the last of those three being Safe’s only true competition.
However, distributor Lionsgate moved it back to a dismal, ominous bow on March 3 according to Variety. Consequently, it now has to debut opposite two likely blockbusters: the animated Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax and the dark fairy tale adaptation Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters; Project X, a comedy from Warner Bros., also arrives that day.
As was noted in our preview, the film doesn't have a trailer yet, which is peculiar in this day and age. The news comes without a reason attached, so we can’t be completely sure why this happened, but chances are that Lionsgate dropped it off in the unfavorable March release window to focus on Warrior.
The studio’s already given the boxing drama a massive commercial push, and it’s picked up some Oscar buzz, too. If Lionsgate tries to go the awards route with it, that’s more money out of their account for FYC ads.
So, is this a safe move for Lionsgate, or is it a big mistake?