‘Snowpiercer’ Won’t Be Cut, But At A Terrible Price

Hey, were you excited for Snowpiercer? We were and are. And there’s good news and bad news on that front: The good news is that the dumbed-down cut for the rubes Harvey Weinstein wanted is not going to be on screens. The bad news is that this means you’ll never get to see the movie in theaters.

Here’s what happened, according to Deadline:

A wide release was in the contract, until the director turned in a cut of just beyond two and one-half hours. The truce is basically that the director keeps the length of his action film but instead of a wide release, it will be a platform release with a roll out. I am told the picture is not being dumped.

For those unfamiliar, a “platform” release is where a movie is put out in a few markets. If it does well there, it’ll open in a few more, and a few more, and a few more, until it has a wide release. If it doesn’t do well, then the studio spikes it and hopes it can make back the money on home video.

This is a nice way of saying that it’s going to take a freaking miracle for Snowpiercer to get a wide theatrical release. Essentially, it’s going to have to pack theaters wherever it opens and keep them packed. That’s not out of the realm of possibility; it’s been getting rave reviews, it’s mostly in English, and it’s got plenty of recognizable stars. But by the same token, if the Weinsteins do what they do with movies they want to cut their losses on, they’ll open it in five art theaters in the tiniest markets possible with no advertising. And then when it tanks, they’ll dump it on the video market a month or so later.

Oh, well. At least the five of us who want to see this movie will be able to see it the way the filmmaker intended, and it’s already a worldwide hit. For the rest of us, hey, it’ll be on Netflix soon.