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Christmas date for ‘Playing the Field’

FilmDistrict moves romantic comedy from March 9

FilmDistrict has moved back its opening of romantic comedy “Playing the Field” from March 9 to Christmas Day.

“Playing the Field” would have faced competition on the earlier date from Disney’s “John Carter,” Sony’s “Think Like a Man,” Relativity’s “The Raven” and Open Road’s “Silent House.” Christmas features a pair of Leonardo DiCaprio titles — “The Great Gatsby” from Warner Bros. and “Django Unchained” from The Weinstein Co.

“Playing the Field” stars Gerard Butler and Jessica Biel along with Judy Greer, Dennis Quaid, Uma Thurman and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Story centers on the homecoming of a retired soccer pro whose glory days are behind him, moves to Virginia to reconnect with his estranged ex-wife and neglected son and starts to coach the boys’ soccer team.

FilmDistrict, launched in 2010 by Graham King and Tim Headington, acquired domestic rights to “Playing” from Nu Image/Millenium during last year’s Cannes Film Festival. A spokesman for FilmDistrict indicated Thursday that the date shift was made to take advantage of holiday season moviegoing.

The shift comes a month after FilmDistrict agreed to a three-film distribution deal with Open Road, under which Open Road will release scifier “Escape From M.S. One,” starring Guy Pearce and Maggie Grace, on April 20, and the “Red Dawn” remake on Nov. 2. The third film hasn’t been selected.

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