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Alexander Payne’s Comedy ‘The Holdovers’ Sets Thanksgiving Release

Alexander Payne’s comedy “The Holdovers” is landing in theaters in time for Thanksgiving.

Focus Features will begin rolling out the film on Nov. 10 in select markets before expanding nationwide on Wednesday, Nov. 22, ahead of Turkey Day. It’ll play in theaters alongside Disney’s animated adventure “Wish,” which debuts on the same day, as well as “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” and Universal’s “Trolls 3,” which open the week prior.

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“The Holdovers” reunites Payne with Paul Giamatti for the first time since their 2004 Oscar-winning film “Sideways.” In the upcoming movie, Giamatti plays a curmudgeonly instructor at an elite New England prep school who is forced to remain on campus during Christmas break to babysit the students with nowhere to go. He eventually forms an unlikely bond with a damaged, brainy troublemaker (played by newcomer Dominic Sessa) and the head cook (portrayed by Da’Vine Joy Randolph).

David Hemingson, a producer and writer on “Whiskey Cavalier,” “Kitchen Confidential” and “Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23,” wrote the screenplay. Payne is best known for “Citizen Ruth,” “Nebraska,” “Election” and “The Descendants.” This is his first film since 2017’s social satire “Downsizing,” which starred Matt Damon and Hong Chau.

“The Holdovers” screened for buyers at the 2022 Toronto Film Festival, where Focus Features landed worldwide distribution rights for $30 million.

Universal Pictures International is handling overseas distribution of “The Holdovers.” The film was produced by Mark Johnson, Bill Block and David Hemingson. Chris Stinson, Tom Williams, Andrew Golov and Thom Zadra served as executive producers.

In the year ahead, Focus Features has plans to release Woody Harrelson’s sports comedy “Champions” (March 10), “Book Club: The Next Chapter” (May 12), Wes Anderson’s “Asteroid City” (June 16) and “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” (Sept. 8).

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