Ron Howard Explains Delay Behind ‘Heart of the Sea’ Release Date

Ron Howard Critics Choice Awards H 2015
AP Images/Invision

The nautical epic starring Chris Hemsworth is being pushed back from March to December.

At the Critic’s Choice Awards Thursday night, Howard accepted his special Louis XIII Genius Award from Chris Hemsworth, who worked with the famed director on both Rush and In the Heart of the Sea. The latter film is experiencing a significant move from its original March 13 date to Dec. 11.

Speaking to the The Hollywood Reporter, Howard explained the reasons why the nautical epic is being pushed to the end of the year and significantly only a week before the much anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens (opens Dec.18).

“It was something that we just found out a couple of days ago in talking to the Warner Bros. executives,” said Howard of the delay.

“They analyzed the way people are responding to our movie now which is very favorable now that it’s finished, the way people responded to the marketing materials, and they also looked out how the market expanded this last Christmas increasing a wide array of movies,” he said. 

"There was a larger audience. I wanted as many people to see this movie on the big screen as possible and I do feel like it’s more of that fourth quarter, early winter kind of feel in terms of the tone of the movie," Howard added. 

In the Heart of the Sea tells the story of the loss of the whaleship Essex, whose crew includes a fictional Herman Melville who would latterly be inspired by the incident to write Moby Dick. Hemsworth is joined by co-stars Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy and Tom Holland in the Warner Bros. epic.