Scorsese’s Hugo Cabret Changes Dates… and Studios

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Interesting things can happen in the movie release schedule on a weekly basis, but rarely do movies change studios entirely in the process of finding the perfect release date. That’s exactly what has happened with Martin Scorsese’s 3D adaptation of Brian Selznick’s bestselling novel “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” now simply called Hugo Cabret. In an effort to get a taste of the box office bonanza that goes to family films in the week of Thanksgiving, the film which stars Asa Butterfield, Chloe Moretz, Sacha Baron Cohen, Sir Ben Kingsley and others has moved to a November 23 release date with Paramount Pictures distributing the film instead of Sony Pictures.

Paramount stepped up to release their second film in a row by the Oscar-winning filmmaker following his hit Shutter Island when Sony wasn’t able to give the movie the Thanksgiving release date desired by the film’s production company GK Films with whom they have a first look deal, instead allowing them to find distribution elsewhere.

The movie puts Hugo Cabret up against Sony Pictures Animation’s own 3D family film Arthur Christmas and Disney’s The Muppets, which is quite a formidable duo for any family film to tackle even with Scorsese at the helm. Also opening on that date are the prequel Rise of the Apes and the secretive Todd Phillips-produced comedy Project X, both of which will go for older audiences.

So the good news is that we’ll be seeing Scorsese’s latest, the potentially bad news is that it now has a lot more direct competition, though that’s better for Gary Marshall’s anthology comedy New Year’s Eve, which finds itself all by itself on December 9. That will probably change.

Here’s the official press release:

Paramount Pictures announced today it will distribute Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese’s 3D film HUGO CABRET. The studio plans to release the film in the U.S. on Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011. Starring Asa Butterfield, Chloe Moretz, Sacha Baron Cohen, Ben Kingsley, Jude Law and Emily Mortimer, the movie is produced by Academy Award-winner Graham King, Tim Headington, Martin Scorsese and Johnny Depp. GK Films also financed the movie. Paramount will handle worldwide distribution in all markets excluding UK, France, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey and the Middle East.

Adapted from the Caldecott-winning Brian Selznick novel by Academy Award-nominated screenwriter John Logan (“Gladiator,” “The Aviator”), HUGO CABRET is the story of a resourceful boy who lives in a train station and teams up with a spirited young girl to solve a mystery that is based in his past and affects both of their futures.

Brad Grey, Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, said: “Following the tremendous success of ‘Shutter Island’ – as well as the host of other projects we have collaborated on in the past – we were eager to continue our work with Marty and be a part of his first ever 3D film.”

“We all believed Thanksgiving was the ideal date to release Marty’s first foray into the family film genre and we are very grateful to Sony and to Paramount that a mutual agreement could be made to allow the film to be released at the best time of year for this kind of all-audience adventure film,” said producer Graham King.

Scorsese is repped by WME and manager Rick Yorn.