Dec. 17 slot for 'Torino'

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Clint Eastwood's "Gran Torino" guns into the marketplace on Dec. 17.

Warner Bros. will give the Eastwood-helmed and -toplined drama a limited release in the midst of kudos season, with a platformed campaign into wide release to play out over subsequent frames. Warners had it tagged as an unslotted December release for months, but domestic distribution president Dan Fellman locked into the date after meeting with the filmmaker on Wednesday.

"It's a film that's sure to have great appeal both with moviegoers and critics," Fellman said.

"Torino" is one of two fourth-quarter films considered candidates for awards-season nominations that Eastwood will have in the marketplace. Universal's Eastwood-directed Angelina Jolie starrer "Changeling" bows wide on Friday.

In "Torino," Eastwood plays a grouchy widower spurred to tough action when his neighborhood is beset by violent gangs. The film gets its title from his character's vintage 1973 Ford Gran Torino.

Opening on a Wednesday, "Torino" will face boxoffice competition over the subsequent weekend that includes two wide-release star vehicles — Sony's Will Smith starrer "Seven Pounds" and Warners' own Jim Carrey-toplined "Yes Man."
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