The Hollywood studio Warner Bros has pushed the release of The Great Gatsby back to next American summer.
Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of the famous F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan, was due to be released on Christmas Day in the United States and January 10 in Australia.
That was seen as positioning the 3D movie, which was shot in Sydney, for Oscars contention.
The new release date, described only in a Warner Bros statement as "summer 2013", puts The Great Gatsby in the thick of Hollywood's blockbuster season.
“Based on what we've seen, Baz Luhrmann's incredible work is all we anticipated and so much more," the studio's president of domestic distribution, Dan Fellman, said. "It truly brings Fitzgerald's American classic to life in a completely immersive, visually stunning and exciting way.
"We think moviegoers of all ages are going to embrace it, and it makes sense to ensure this unique film reaches the largest audience possible.”
The president of international distribution, Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, said: "The responses we've had to some of the early sneak peeks have been phenomenal, and we think The Great Gatsby will be the perfect summer movie around the world.”
The move was considered a surprise in Hollywood given the buzz about DiCaprio as a possible contender for next year's best actor Oscar for the iconic role of enigmatic Jay Gatsby and the rich look of the movie's trailer.
The Hollywood Reporter said: "There's no way of knowing whether Warners actually decided that the film's release would be better served by a summer release (when it will certainly serve as good counterprogamming to the usual summer schlock) or whether it came to the conclusion that the film wouldn't be able to hold its own against this year's stiff awards competition (which includes Warner's own titles The Dark Knight Rises, Argo, Trouble with the Curve, Cloud Atlas and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey)."