Warner Bros. is re-releasing the well reviewed George Clooney legal thriller Michael Clayton on January 25th, one month before the Academy Awards. What’s somewhat surprising about the announcement is that the film will return to 1,000 theaters around North America rather than a limited run in the usual cities. Is there really such demand?

When it was released wide last October, the film opened to $11 million, which was considered a mild disappointment and sparked a fair share of knee-jerk “George Clooney isn’t a big draw outside of the Ocean films” editorials. It chugged along, and as of January 6th, it’s grossed $39 million. Made for a tidy $25 million, it wasn’t a flop, but it performed like a mini sleeper instead of like a ’90s John Grisham adaptation, which is probably what Warner Bros. imagined for it success-wise.

Did you see it? I thought it was a cool choice for a matinee, but definitely not a Best Picture hopeful as many are suggesting. Tony Gilroy‘s direction was stylish and deft, and one would never guess it was his debut as a director, but the script, also by Gilroy, rang too many of the same bells as Sidney Lumet’s classic The Verdict to be included beside a great film like There Will Be Blood. I also found the ending to be a little full of itself in a year full of similarly quiet, melancholic ones. Will any of you who didn’t catch it be first on line this go around? And more curiously, why did so many choose not to see it last year in spite of stellar reviews?

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