Shutter Island Pushed To February 2010!?

Paramount has shocked nearly everyone by moving Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island out of 2009 awards contention to a February 19th, 2010 release date. The move is such a huge surprise because everyone expected the film to be a big player in the Oscar race. But now with a February release date, the movie's award chances are slimmer, and of course, the film is disqualified for most of the 2009 Awards altogether. So why did Paramount make the change/move? Is Shutter Island not the Oscar contender that everyone had hoped it might be? Answers after the jump.

The film tested highly, in the high 80's/low 90's and even Scorsese brought the running time down to under 2 hours. Even a /Film reader who reviewed an early cut of the film mentioned the potential Award-winning performances. So why did Paramount move a film with mainstream and award potential? Blame the recession. According to Nikki Finke's source, "Paramount told the filmmakers it doesn't have the financing in 2009 to spend the $50M to $60M necessary to market a big awards pic like this." Wow...

So instead the studio has decided to put Shutter Island in The Silence of the Lambs slot. And as we all know, Silence of the Lambs went on to win five Oscars in 1992, despite the mid-February handicap. The thought is that now that the Academy is nominating 10 films for Best Picture, Shutter Island will still have a chance for the 2010 Academy Awards, and the studio will better be able to fund an award campaign at that time.