Lionsgate Fighting Russell Crowe Over 3:10 to Yuma
One of the better movies everyone should be going out and seeing this weekend is the western 3:10 to Yuma starring two heavy-hitter actors: Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. Although both deliver fine performances, the film is a western in a world where that genre has been left behind in the dust. Another reason why it isn't getting as strong of a push as it deserves: Russell Crowe hasn't been as supportive of it because of his other film, American Gangster. And Lionsgate, the distributor of 3:10 to Yuma, has been fighting with him to promote it.
This intriguing report comes from fellow movie site Rope of Silicon, who comments on the whole situation and the endless battle Lionsgate is having on all sides of the equation.
Apparently "Crowe did not want to muddy the waters by opening 3:10 to Yuma too close to American Gangster's release on Nov. 2." Crowe's camp is said to have wanted the film to be moved to 2008, at which time he would be more cooperative in promoting the film if Lionsgate agreed, but they obviously didn't.
3:10 to Yuma was originally set to be released in October, but being that close to Universal's American Gangster didn't appeal to the smaller distributor as they knew competing Crowe ads would not work too well and that Uni would far outspend the smaller Lion.
Lionsgate's primary concern however didn't appear to be American Gangster as Masters points out it was a focus on coming out before another Western, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford starring Brad Pitt, which releases on September 21 and it already receiving good word of mouth.
The problem with 3:10 to Yuma is that they're trying to push it as a very big film when not only is the genre itself struggling anyway, but also they're running into the problems just mentioned. Even the first poster they released didn't feature any of the lead actors, which in this world is always the case, and instead relied on the strong visuals to capture the attention of followers of the film already. They quickly followed that up with a poster with Crowe and Bale later on.
In regards to Russell Crowe, sometimes you just can't fight with actors. They want their glory and the studios want their promotion, but obviously American Gangster is the bigger film with a bigger studio so they're going to win the fight. I commend Lionsgate anyway for their excellent work so far and I hope it pays off in box office earnings this weekend. One way you can help - go see it in theaters! Even for the second time if you've already seen it once.
3:10 to Yuma is a great film and we've been doing our part as best we can in pushing interest in the western genre. With the likes of 3:10 to Yuma and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (which was also a great film), the focus should be on the actors in each of them but also the genre. Even using myself as an example: I hated westerns until this year, when after learning about both films I was already highly interested. Finally after seeing both I have a newfound interest in westerns and am actively going back and watching most of the good ones that I missed.
Bravo Lionsgate on the good work so far (the first poster is one of my favorite posters this entire year). Let's hope 3:10 to Yuma does well in theaters this weekend!