'Tintin's' Release Date: Katzenberg's Impact

DW Studios

Can't wait to see The Adventures of TIntin, Steven Spielberg's motion-capture adaptation of the Herve comics? Then plan a trip to Belgium, France or the U.K., where the movie opens Oct. 26, because it doesn't arrive stateside until Dec. 23. Blame the wait, unusual in an era of day-and-date worldwide releases, on a key factor: Paramount, which co-financed the pic with Sony, is releasing it domestically, and under its strained distribution deal with DreamWorks Animation, it can't open an animated movie within a two-week window on either side of DWA titles -- not even for Spielberg, a DWA investor and pal of CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. Because Paramount opens DWA's Puss in Boots on Nov. 4, it had to find another slot for Tintin. But no problem, those involved insist. "We are rolling this out like we would a Bond movie internationally," says Jeff Blake, who oversees worldwide marketing and distribution for Sony, which has the film in non-English-speaking territories. (Recent Bond movies have played Europe before the U.S.) As for piracy, he adds, "That's less of a concern for 3D films." Spielberg spokesman Marvin Levy says that because Tintin is hugely popular in Europe, a successful launch there should drive interest in the U.S.: "This just made sense all the way around."