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Drew Barrymore and Justin Long will go a greater distance

August 12, 2010 |  3:56 pm

The marketing has just started rolling out for the romantic comedy "Going the Distance," but in case you were rushing online to book tickets, don't do that just yet. Warner Bros. is moving back the release date for the romantic comedy by one week to Sept. 3, Labor Day weekend.

It's not the first change for the film, which originally was dated for Oct. 8 before it was moved up to the summer. The new date is historically a pretty poor weekend for moviegoing. (Last year it saw the release of "Gamer," "Final Destination" and "All About Steve" -- average four-day box office: $13 million.)

But the studio wanted a little more breathing room after the female-targeted "The Switch" and "Eat Pray Love," which open one and two weeks before, respectively. In a statement, Warner Bros. distribution president Dan Fellman said that “moving to the Labor Day weekend not only allows us to take advantage of the long holiday weekend, but gives us some distance from the other female-driven films releasing in August." And the Sept. 3 date has no other wide releases besides the male-skewing Robert Rodriguez extravaganza "Machete."

Fellman also said that the new date allows for "an opportunity to build more awareness and word-of-mouth for a movie we believe has strong appeal for a broad audience."

The "Going the Distance" campaign might need some new energy. Documentarian Nanette Burstein's feature debut, which looks at the comedic and dramatic dimensions of a couple's long-distance relationship, is tracking poorly among the core female demographic. According to pre-release audience surveys, more women younger than 30 are interested in seeing the mid-budget crime action movie "Takers" and genre title "The Last Exorcism," neither of which is seen as nearly as female-centric as "Distance."

As for men, well, let's just say that according to those same surveys, men are roughly as interested in "Going the Distance" as they are in "Eat Pray Love."

--Steven Zeitchik


Photo: Drew Barrymore and Justin Long in 'Going the Distance.' Credit: Warner Bros.

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