EXCLUSIVE: The Weinstein Company-Dimension will move the Stephen Gaghan-directed adventure film Gold to a January 27 opening, from its original plan to open wide on December 25. TWC-Dimension co-chairman Bob Weinstein said that the film will have the required limited screenings to qualify for Oscars and Golden Globes, but the move was made in recognition that the Christmas corridor is slammed with adult-themed films, and the film has much better commercial prospects opening a month later. That gives Gold its own lane to mine its considerable commercial potential. TWC will still aggressively push the film for Golden Globe and Oscar consideration –its two-city qualifying dates will likely stay on December 25 — highlighting a performance by a shape-changing Matthew McConaughey that Weinstein called “One of the best roles ever that he’s played in his long career. We will open four days after the Academy nominations, and feel that we are taking advantage of both worlds,” Weinstein said. “The awards season is very important, but Gaghan did a great job here, directing a terrific adventure that’s got twists and turns and is American Hustle meets The Wolf of Wall Street. The way it looks right now, all these adult films are going wide, and there will be more competition in the marketplace than we’ve seen, maybe ever. This seemed a perfect way to maximize the commercial and awards prospects for a film that exhibition is very high on.”
In an adventure tale inspired by a true story, McConaughey plays Kenny Wells, a charismatic wildcatter who takes over his father’s mineral mining company. Where his recently deceased old man could trip on the sidewalk and find oil, Kenny has a long dry run. He stakes everything he has left, teaming up with an equally luckless geologist (Edgar Ramirez) to execute a grandiose, last-ditch effort to find gold deep in the uncharted jungle of Indonesia. Bryce Dallas Howard, Corey Stoll, Toby Kebbell, Bruce Greenwood and Stacy Keach round out the ensemble cast. Patrick Massett & John Zinman wrote the script and are producing with Black Bear’s Teddy Schwarzman (The Imitation Game) and HWY 61’s Michael Nozik (Syriana). Paul Haggis, Ben Stillman and Richard Middleton are the executive producers.
Like several distributors, TWC finds itself with several films that are gaining Oscar buzz, the others including the Garth Davis-directed Lion with Dev Patel, Rooney Mara and Nicole Kidman, and The Founder, the John Lee Hancock-directed drama that stars Michael Keaton as McDonald’s impresario Ray Kroc.