Focus Features has set release dates for three pics in the first quarter of 2011, taking advantage of a period that is typically light on specialty fare.
Sked is led by helmer Kevin Macdonald’s “The Eagle of the Ninth,” set to open wide Feb. 25, followed by Brit lit adaptation “Jane Eyre,” which will debut March 11. Edgy thriller “Hanna,” which reteams “Atonement” helmer Joe Wright and thesp Saoirse Ronan, launches April 8.
“One of the things about the early play period is that there are several specialty touchstones people harken back to,” said Focus prexy of theatrical distribution Jack Foley, noting the distrib’s past successes like “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and last year’s toon “Coraline.”
“Eternal Sunshine” earned $34.1 million in 2004, while “Coraline” topped $75.3 million domestically.
Historic actioner “Eagle,” based on Rosemary Sutcliff’s young-adult tome, follows Roman centurion Marcus Aquila (Channing Tatum) as he travels along Hadrian’s Wall in 140 A.D. Britain. Pic was moved from its originalSeptember berth and now will go up against Warner Bros.’ Farrelly brothers-directed “Hall Pass.”
“Jane Eyre” and “Hanna” round out the distrib’s spring sked. “Jane Eyre,” directed by Cary Fukunaga, stars “Alice in Wonderland’s” Mia Wasikowska, while Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana co-star in “Hanna” alongside Ronan, who plays the young assassin.
Focus also plans to roll out its Anne Hathaway starrer “One Day” in the fall. Directed by Lone Scherfig (“An Education”), “One Day” follows two friends on the same day for 20 years. David Nicholls, who wrote the novel on which the project is based, also penned the script.
“All of these are still Focus features because they’re about creativity, originality and commercial potential,” Foley said. “Finishing up this year, and going into next year, should be fun.”
Focus next will launch Lisa Cholodenko’s family dramatic comedy “The Kids Are All Right” on July 9.
“The American” and “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” are set for September, with Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere” debuting Dec. 22.