Release Date Of Alexander Payne's The Descendants Bumped Up Five Days

As is tradition, this year's Thanksgiving movie release schedule is absolutely packed. Building on the number of wide releases that were sent to theaters the day before the holiday last year, this year features four movies that will be fighting for your family's attention. For fans of funny bloodbaths there's Piranha 3DD; for those who always follow the great filmmakers there's Martin Scorsese's Hugo; for audiences that was nostalgia chills there's The Muppets; and for people who can't wait for the December holiday season there's Arthur Christmas. With such intense competition one can easily understand why a film would want to switch release dates, and that's exactly what The Descendants is doing.

Variety reports that the Alexander Payne film, which premieres this weekend at the Toronto International Film Festival, has moved its release up by five days and will now come out on November 18th. But while the move may get the film away from the Thanksgiving crowds, the move may be an example of jumping out of the pot and into the fire. While The Descendants will be starting in limited release, its direct competition on the third weekend of November is The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part One) and George Miller's Happy Feet Two. The film, which stars George Clooney, Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard, Shailene Woodley, Beau Bridges, and Robert Forster, is about a man who reconnects with his two daughters after his wife is put on life support after a boating accident and is also is also forced to face off with the man with whom she has been having an affair.

Payne's movies have never been blockbusters, but I have a terrible feeling that The Descendants is going to get absolutely buried. I have to wonder why they didn't move the film backwards instead of forwards, as December 2nd currently has no wide releases. Let's hope that George Clooney's appeal will be enough to give the movie some legs.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.