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Focus Features Delays The Boat That Rocked Until November

by
June 26, 2009

The Boat That Rocked

I don't usually report on release date changes like this unless there is something more to the story. Variety reports today that Richard Curtis' new comedy The Boat That Rocked will be distributed by Focus Features (instead of Universal proper) and has been delayed until November from its original late August release. Interestingly, they add that they're "working with filmmaker Richard Curtis to create a leaner version for American auds after the film's mixed run overseas." This isn't the kind of movie I'll be starting fights over (like Inglourious Basterds) but I'm surprising to see Universal switching things up last minute.

I know that Universal has been testing this film quite a bit with audiences in Los Angeles. But apparently it hasn't been doing so well at the international box office, making only $9.1 million in the UK, well below expectations. "It will be a shorter, leaner version. We think it is a real crowd-pleaser. We love a challenge, and we love working with Working Title," Focus Features president James Schamus said. They'll be working with Curtis to trim about 20 minutes from the film, which originally ran 129 minutes. No specific date in November has been set yet, but we'll be keep you update. In the meantime, check out the latest trailer.

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  • I hate that Hollywood considers us so stupid and impatient. But... We are.
  • I saw "The Boat that Rocked" a couple of weeks ago, and tell you what, it's too long and incoherent, so trimming out twenty minutes - if done sensibly - might actually be a smart move. I still doubt it can be turned into a real crowd-pleaser though because the movie clearly lacks an emotional core. Considering the talent that was involved in this production, "The Boat that Rocked" turned out very disappointing.
  • jules
    You can't do this now, it's too late. They had their opportunity in the screening phase. They they have to wear their badge and screen the same movie everywhere.
  • Marcus
    I saw this months ago in the UK and loved it. Its no 'Love Actually' but it doesnt try to be. Love actually was meant to be a heart twister/warmer. This wasnt. This was supposed to be a look at the end of British Pirate radio in the 60s and it does it well. The soundtrack is amazing too. The best of 60s pop music.
  • lee
    I did have a point to make and then saw Lory Roebuck comments which could be no more accurate. The film is a flabby mess with some good elements but not enough to make it a satisfying experience as a whole with or without a little bit of scissor action.
  • lee
    Curtis can do his kind of writing thing quite well, not that I'm a fan, but the man cannot direct.
  • Al
    this obviously has to do with them thinking it may have a better chance at Oscar contention.
  • chrisUK
    it was the RoTF of music movies!
  • George
    I've seen it too and I disagree with the above comments about it not having 'crowd pleasing' potential. A good twenty minute butchering would transform this into a really good movie. Its strongest emotional punch lies in all the various montage sequences of loads of people jamming to the pirate station's music--so they better not cut a single thing from any of that. All the serious melodramatic Titanic crap in the third act could really be shortened a lot as well as the entire sub-plot sequence of the weird tramp who marries the geeky guy just to get to screw the hot guy. Not only was that not funny, but it was too unbearably sad and seriously shifted the movie's tone from comedy to awkward melodrama.
  • Martin
    This movie rocks! I don't see how they can trim 20 minutes without seriously injuring this picture.
  • I watched this movie when it was release in Febuaryish over here in the UK, it doesn't need re-cutting, it is film of the year by far.

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