‘Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ to Open a Day Early, to Beat the Yule Crush

Sony switches the release date from Dec. 21 to 7 p.m. Dec. 20 — getting a jump on a spectacularly crowded weekend

Sony is releasing "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" a day earlier than originally planned — Dec. 20 instead of Dec. 21, the company announced Tuesday.

By moving the release date up a day, Sony extends the R-rated movie's Christmas holiday weekend and gets a few hours without the enormous competition that begins Dec. 21.

Also read: Christmas Crush: Too Many Big Films Crowd Soft Holiday Box Office

On the first day of winter, two giant movies open in wide release: Steven Spielberg's PG-rated "The Adventures of Tintin" and Paramount's PG-13 "Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol." Fox's PG-rated  comedy "We Bought a Zoo" also opens that day.

Four days later, on Christmas, Spielberg's PG-13 World War I Drama "War Horse" and Summit Entertainment's PG-13 sci-fi thriller "The Darkest Hour" hit theaters.

Directed by David Fincher and starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, the highly anticipated "Dragon Tattoo" already has strong tracking, according to research firm NRG. The firm says that 79 percent of Americans are aware of the movie — and 83 percent of women 25 and older know of it.

“This is one of the busiest times of the year for moviegoing and we can't wait to share this outstanding thriller with audiences all over the world," Sony's marketing and distribution chairman, Jeff Blake, said in a statement. "We feel that by opening for night-time shows on December 20th, fans of the book will be given the perfect opportunity to get a jump start on the release of an exceptional film.”

"Dragon Tattoo" is based on the bestselling trilogy-opener by Swedish writer Stieg Larsson, about a newspaper reporter (Craig) who works with an unconventional but brilliant computer hacker (Mara) to investigate an old murder.