Indiana Jones and the Search for the Right Date

I’ve always wondered why the Hollywood studios don’t use astrology to set the release dates for their films. I think they would like the results. Deciding the release date for a film is a bit like reading tea leaves anyway. Why not throw the stars into the mix?

Case in point: Paramount has scheduled the opening of the new Indiana Jones film for May 22, the Thursday before Memorial Day. Yes, I know the conventional wisdom says long holiday weekends are the perfect time to release big-budget action pics, especially those directed by superstars like Steven Spielberg. Not necessarily.

A better day to open Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is May 9. Why? It’s not the start of a holiday weekend, but it’s the day of the Jupiter station in Capricorn opposing the Cancer Sun of the film’s star, Harrison Ford.

Another argument in favor of May 9: The Moon is in Cancer, which would also support Ford’s “comeback” ambitions. (Ford’s still a star, but he hasn’t been on the silver screen much lately.)

Right now, the May 9 opening date belongs to Speed Racer, the live-action interpretation of the pioneering anime series about a boy car racer. Based solely on the astrological aspects of this day, I’m betting that Speed Racer is going to do boffo business.

I don’t think a Memorial Day weekend opening is a total disaster for Crystal Skull. Jupiter will already be retrograde, but the Great Expander still will be close to Ford’s Sun. In addition, Mercury and Neptune are both going retrograde on May 26, which aren’t bad aspects for reviving a franchise like Indiana Jones. (Anything that starts with the prefix “re” is well-suited for a retrograde.) But I still think May 9 is the ideal day for Indy to charge back into theaters.

The entertainment blogs are reporting that Crystal Skull will be making its world premiere on opening night of the Cannes Film Festival, which is May 14. I don’t consider this the real opening for the same reason I don’t run IPO price-setting charts: These events are not accessible to the general public.