It was only a week ago that Hollywood rewarded its best and brightest talents, which means that this week start's the race for 2017's winners. Apparently Mark Wahlberg's Patriot's Day looks to be off to a good start, as it's snagged an opportune release date.
The Hollywood Reporter has reported that the Peter Berg directed film that focuses on the police investigation into the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013 has landed an awards qualifying release of December 21st. General audiences will get to see Patriot's Day when it goes wide on January 13, 2017; putting the latest collaboration of Berg and Wahlberg in similar releasing strategy as their last film together, the 2013 hit Lone Surivor.
Patriot's Day also stars J.K. Simmons, who recently joined the cast as Sgt. Jeffrey Pugliese, the officer of the Watertown Police Department who tracked and engaged the Tsarnaev Brothers behind the vicious attack on civilians. So, of course, having an Academy Award winning actor definitely helps the film's chances of garnering some crucial awards season nods. While Lone Survivor managed to receive two Academy Award nominations during its release, those awards were in technical categories. Presumably, Universal Studios was focusing on their huge awards push for Les Miserables at that time. However, there is one film in recent times that might prove to be a reasonable template for Patriot's Day's potential Oscar success: American Sniper.
While American Sniper was a bit of a controversial film in the eyes of film-goers and critics alike, the unshakable box-office buzz and unwavering patriotism that the film exuded managed to lock down six nominations and one technical win at the 2015 Academy Awards. Keeping this recent cinematic history lesson in mind, Patriot's Day could, at the very least, make a killing at the January 2017 box office. Of course, this depends on any other film that Lionsgate, the studio distributing the film, may have their eyes on pushing for awards consideration. Though don't be surprised if J.K. Simmons walks away with a second nomination in his pocket.
As with any awards season, there are no sure things and the competition could be fierce enough that Patriot's Day might not make the cut when compared to the other films attempting to make their dreams of Best Picture come true. Still, with its late December release date sitting as of yet unclaimed by any other film, there's a good chance that critics could forego that second showing of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in favor of this emerging awards contender.
Patriot's Day is slated to go into production this month, with its December 21st release date rolling the film out in Los Angeles, New York, and Boston.