EXCLUSIVE: Even though Sony Pictures has not been able to find a wide audience for the Robert Zemeckis-directed The Walk, the studio is taking another shot at making sure that Academy voters have every opportunity to see the movie in 3D. The studio is going to show the movie, day in and day out, with invites going out today to Academy members to come see the picture on the lot. Sony will play the TriStar release The Walk every day at 7PM (except for Thanksgiving and Black Friday) starting November 16 and running through December 11.
The Walk’s difficulty in finding an audience has been a conundrum for Sony. Indeed, I can’t recall a movie this exceptional being greeted by audience indifference, despite the pedigree of Zemeckis and his accomplishments on movies from Back To The Future, Cast Away, Forrest Gump, Flight and Polar Express. The picture is one part caper movie–Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon Levitt) and cohorts smuggled equipment to the top of the World Trade Center–and one part Cirque du Soleil-style spectacle — Petit executes an unprecedented stunt as an artistic statement. Zemeckis and cohorts supplied VFX that put the viewer right there on the wire. Maybe it was discomfort over the Twin Towers (the movie is actually a love letter to the structures felled in the 9/11 terror attack), and maybe it was the fear of vertigo or reports of barfing journalists at early press screenings. But the audience didn’t turn up, even though the movie is as distinctive in its own way as 3D films Avatar, Life of Pi, Hugo, The Hobbit and The Martian. Almost every one of those caught on with audiences. Clearly, Sony isn’t yet willing to concede defeat, even as it continues to lament its failure in the marketplace.