Exit Oscar derby: ‘Monuments Men’ trots off to 2014

Two months ago Gold Derby reported Sony was worried that “The Monuments Men” may not be Oscar bait and we caught a lot of grief for it. Now comes redeeming news: The film’s release has been bumped from December to sometime in early 2014.

The official reason: its visual effects aren’t ready. “We just didn’t have enough time,” director/star George Clooney told the L.A. Times. “If any of the effects looked cheesy, the whole movie would look cheesy. We simply don’t have enough people to work enough hours to finish it.”

Initially, Clooney aimed for a Christmastime debut because that’s when two of his most successful movies opened in the past: popcorn superhits “Oceans Eleven” and “Oceans Twelve.” “Monuments Men” has similar thriller elements — it’s about rescuing stolen art treasures from the Nazis — and will probably be a box-office smash, but early expectations ran high that it could be a real work of art (read Oscar fare) too.

Two months ago, when Gold Derby began tracking our Users’ predictions, “Monuments Men” led the Best Picture race by an overwhelming margin. The Experts we polled ranked it in fourth place. At that point, studio execs still hadn’t seen an early cut of the film and they worried: What if “Monuments Men” is really just a great action flick with no Oscar pretentions? Massive disappointment might hurt its b.o. success.

When the news broke today, it made a lot of sense for another reason. Paramount just announced that it’s rolling out “The Wolf of Wall Street” in late December. Presumably, that will take the place of “Monuments Men” in the Oscar corridor.

Now that the ponies have shifted in the Oscar Best Picture race, make your predictions below.



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