Michael Moore's 'Where To Invade Next' Wide Release Pushed Back For Nationwide Tour

Clarification: The film will still be released on December 23rd 2015 in New York City & Los Angeles. Filmmaker Michael Moore e-mailed us to explain why the move was made:

"Is there any way to clear up in the headline and the lead that the open is still Dec 23 in NY & LA? I asked the distributor to give me more time to go out and do a hundred free screenings across the country before they opened it wide — and because they really hadn't locked in solid Jan 15 as the wide date they were cool doing on Feb 12. It's not uncommon for films to open in Dec for an Oscar qualifying run and then go wide in Jan, Feb or even the week after the Oscars. Hope I'm not splitting hairs. Love your site. Hope to talk again soon."

The original story follows:

Not too long ago, we saw the first trailer for Michael Moore's Toronto International Film Festival selected documentary, Where to Invade Next. The film was is set for an Oscar qualifying release on December 23rd, and but would have opened in theaters everywhere on January 15th. But now the wide release has been pushed back a month to allow Moore to go on a nationwide bus tour which will see him debuting the film in every single state. Get the details below!

Deadline reports the new distribution company created by former Radius executives Tom Quinn and Jason Janego along with Tim League of the Alamo Drafthouse jumped at the opportunity to changed their release plans to allow Moore to go on a rock and roll style bus tour with his film in tow. Somehow even Alaska and Hawaii are being included in that tour, but the logistics are still being worked out for those states.

The tour will begin on January 4th and run for six weeks, right up to the new Where to Invade Next release date on February 12th. Not only is that Abraham Lincoln's birthday, but that's also three days after the New Hampshire primary. So Moore is likely hoping to stir up some discussion among the American people around that key time in our long election cycle. And he has reason to think it will make an impact since a big reason the film is being pushed with a tour is the positive reaction from test screenings in places like Pittsburgh and Yonkers. Moore says:

"What it has shown us is the film not only plays well as just a movie, but the issues raised in the film deeply affect people. So I said to Tom and Jason before we go wide why not give me a month or so to barnstorm the country, me personally, in a big rock 'n roll tour bus, and we will crisscross the country showing the film for free, leading up to the New Hampshire primary because the issues in the film are the issues, the real issues, people want being discussed in this election year."

Moore says that the tour may also have music and rallies along the tour, so if that sounds like your cup of tea, stay tuned for any details on the tour.

Since the film has already been shortlisted as one of 15 finalists for the potential nomination for Best Documentary at the Academy Awards, it will still keep its Oscar-qualifying run in New York and Los Angeles on December 23rd. As for the wide release beginning on February 12th, it will start with about 300 or 400 screens, and get bumped up to double or triple that after two weeks.

Some who have seen Where to Invade Next (watch the trailer right here) call it Michael Moore's most optimistic film, but clearly he's still pointing out some problems we have within American society. The director says:

"It's not about supporting any one candidate. I haven't endorsed anybody. What we have found is people leave the movie with a lot of hope, that we can turn things around. We have found there is a sense of optimism but also  audiences have a building anger during the film, because as you're watching me invade these countries and you see they have these things we should have you are going 'wait a minute. I live in the USA,' "

We'll have to wait and see if Moore stirs up any integral discussions early next year.