At midnight EST last night the embargo on reviews of David Fincher's The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was lifted and the floodgates opened to reveal overwhelmingly positive responses. With 21 reviews logged on Rotten Tomatoes, only two have been negative and our own Katey Rich called it a "bracing and completely absorbing thriller" (my review should be up soon, and I loved it as well). All of the good buzz should only serve to heighten anticipation for the movie and now Sony has opted to throw fans a bone.

It has been announced that The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo will now be released about five hours. The trade says that instead of having screenings start at midnight on December 21st, theaters around the country will now hold showings a few hours early, starting at 7:00pm on December 20th. Discussing the decision, Sony chairman of worldwide marketing and distribution Jeff Blake said, "This is one of the busiest times of the year for moviegoing and we can't wait to share this outstanding thriller with audiences all over the world. We feel that by opening for nighttime shows on December 20th, fans of the book will be given the perfect opportunity to get jump start on the release of the exceptional film."

This really is a smart move. As Blake explained, next week is a crazy time for new releases, with Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and The Adventures of Tintin also set to come out on December 21st. While it's not much of a buffer, why not take advantage of the fact that fans of Stieg Larsson's books and David Fincher want to see the movie as early as they can? It may not end up having the biggest impact on the movie's box office totals, but it's still a good plan.

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