Studio hitting pause on Paul Schrader’s The Card Counter because they “don’t know what to do with it”

This is a somewhat puzzling move by Focus Features, unless they truly want to release this film in theaters first. Streaming companies — cough, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple, etc — are hungry for more movies, and will pay handsomely in some cases.

Focus Features doesn’t have to pump any breaks on The Card Counter when they can sell it to somebody to stream.

I know, I know, but it needs to be released in a theater! Pounding fists on desk, “we need to support exhibitors!” Um, well, no, you need to stay in business first. Cover those bases or your support will be non-existent for everybody, including exhibitors.

“I was talking to Focus [Features], and I could give them the film in a month,” he said. “They don’t want the film in a month because they don’t know what to do with it in a month. They said, you just take whatever time you need, which is the opposite of the way studios usually talk. I also have final cut, so it doesn’t really matter. What I deliver, I deliver.” He goes on to explain that “The Card Counter” will likely be held until it can do a full film festival circuit and build up anticipation in the same way “First Reformed” did before it was released a couple of years ago.

Paul Schrader Says He Could Finish ‘The Card Counter’ In A Month But The Studio Doesn’t Want Him To

Obviously, as Regal Unlimited subscribers, at $44/month, we want to see as many new movies in theaters released as possible, including The Card Counter, but just putting it on the back burner until … someday is probably financially ill-advised in the current environment.

I’m not sure what makes The Card Counter special. Is it a big budget movie? I don’t think so. Anybody know? This one doesn’t make much sense.

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