Saturday, March 2, 2024

Scooped Here: MGM Moves Aretha Franklin Jennifer Hudson Movie “Respect” Out of Oscar Race, to August 2021, Because of Money Problems


I told you a few days ago that MGM would move the Aretha Franklin biopic, “Respect,” from its January 15th opening. And now they have.

And I told you why: Without the James Bond movie, “No Time to Die,” to generate cash, MGM does not have the resources to put on an Oscar campaign.

So they’ve taken Jennifer Hudson out of the Oscar race for this year, and wasted a lot of marketing already done for this film, directed Liesl Tommy.

They’ve wasted the Martin Luther King weekend release date, too. Going to August 11th? That’s the date used by “The Butler” a few years ago, and the time of August thought to be good for movies attracting black audiences.

Hudson must be crestfallen. If they’d stuck with this season, MGM had the musical territory to themselves. Now they’ll go right back into competition with “West Side Story” and “In the Heights” in 2021.

They’ll say it’s because of the pandemic, but I am told it is all about their financial situation. This way, James Bond will come in April and earn them millions that can be used for “Respect.” They could have gone VOD or to Apple or Netflix and still reaped the rewards.

What a shame. We needed this film for the 2021 Oscars. Like Rodney Dangerfield, we can’t get no respect!


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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