Par pushes pair of wide rollouts to early '09


Paramount is fiddling with its holiday release plans at the eleventh hour, delaying the wide release of true-life drama "The Soloist," starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx, and the Daniel Craig-toplined Nazi-escape film "Defiance" until the first quarter.

Par is moving "Soloist," the story of Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez's relationship with a homeless musician, to a March 13 wide release date. The film, a DreamWorks/Universal production, had been considered an awards-season candidate and — with its trailer already in theaters — had been set to unspool Nov. 21 over the pre-Thanksgiving frame.

It was not clear if "Soloist" might receive an Academy-qualifying run before Dec. 31.

As for "Defiance," a Par Vantage production, Par will postpone its Dec. 12 limited bow to an Oscar-qualifying debut Dec. 31, which will maintain its viability for Academy consideration. It will delay an expansion into wider release until Jan. 16. (partialdiff)