‘Weather’ patterns shifting

Crix suggestions, Cage's availability effect changes

“Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”

Paramount is defying that old aphorism, moving Nicolas Cage starrer “The Weather Man” back six months from spring (April 1) to fall (Oscar season).

Marketing chief Gerry Rich asserts the move — five weeks before the planned opening — was driven by two factors: Critics suggesting at early screenings that the film be moved back to awards season, plus limited availability of Cage (who’s in Australia for “Ghost Rider”) and director Gore Verbinski (who’s about to shoot back-to-back sequels to “Pirates of the Caribbean”).

Paramount hadn’t yet launched its TV campaign, but it had one-sheets in theaters and had been running trailersand extensive Internet ads on “The Weather Man,” a character-driven drama-comedy in which Cage plays a successful weathercaster whose personal life unravels.

Marketing efforts will be muted for a few months, but will ramp up in late summer amid the launch of fall TV season — and just in time to catch the wave of early buzz on 2005 Oscar contenders.

It’s the second delay for “The Weather Man,” which wrapped last spring and had been slotted for a December release.

Rich sees nothing but upside, adding, “We’ve got a lot of early awareness for a non-formulaic film that’s a little hard to classify.”

ENDS

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