Its a crowded Oscar race so far this year. Some studios originally set to release their films this year are waiting until 2018.
A number of films with strong acting performances like, The Children Act starring Emma Thompson, The Wife starring Glenn Close, and On Chesil Beach with Saoirse Ronan won’t get an awards-qualifying run this year.
If you don’t launch your film in early Fall and get all of that important festival buzz, you may be better off waiting. This year, movie makers faced tough some tough competition due to studios already having their fall release films in place. Fox Searchlight has Battle of the Sexes, The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Focus is spending its money on Victoria and Abdul, Darkest Hour and Phantom Thread. Sony Pictures Classics already has Call Me by Your Name, Novitiate and Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool. They also have to think about how many movies a theater can show in an already full fall release schedule.
Some see this as the studio not having much confidence in the film, but sometimes its better not to rush a release date. Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker was picked up at Toronto in 2008 but not released until June of the following year. It then went on to win the best picture Oscar. Crash also bought at Toronto in 2004, was not released 2005 and it went on to be a best picture winner.