Ryan Gosling Emma Stone La La
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La La Land,” Damien Chazelle’s attempt to recapture the magic of movie musicals, will hit theaters next December.

Lionsgate, the studio behind the film, is moving “La La Land” from a previously scheduled July 15, 2016, launch. It will now open in limited release on Dec. 2 before expanding on Dec. 16. That puts it right in the heart of awards season, a sign that the studio thinks it could have an Oscar contender on its hands.

Expectations are high for “La La Land” because it marks Chazelle’s follow-up to “Whiplash,” the 2014 best picture nominee about a drumming prodigy and a very volatile jazz instructor. In addition to adding in some song and dance elements, “La La Land” reunites Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, last seen setting hearts aflutter in 2011’s “Crazy Stupid Love.”

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The new date means that “La La Land” will expand on the same day that “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” a spin-off to the space opera saga, and the Will Smith drama “Collateral Beauty” hit theaters. In its old perch, “La La Land” would have faced off against the reboot of “Ghostbusters,” which swaps out Bill Murray and company for Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy.

In addition, Lionsgate announced that Black Label Media has come on as a co-financier. Lionsgate worked with Black Label on last fall’s acclaimed drug thriller, “Sicario.”

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