Citing economic factors, Paramount made the decision Friday morning, only six weeks before the pic would have opened.
Fox Searchlight immediately moved "Whip It," its Drew Barrymore-helmed roller derby comedy, forward a week into the slot. The only other pics set for wide release Oct. 2 are Disney's 3D re-releases of "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2."
The Feb. 19 slot currently contains a pair of actioners: Lionsgate's "From Paris With Love" and Screen Gems' "Takers."
The studio issued a statement from Paramount Pictures chairman-CEO Brad Grey saying: "Our 2009 slate was greenlit in a very different economic climate and as a result we must remain flexible and willing to recalibrate and adapt to a changing environment.
"This is a situation facing every single studio as we all work through the financial pressures associated with the broader downturn. Like every business, we must make difficult choices to maximize our overall success and to best manage Paramount's business in a way that serves Viacom and its shareholders, while providing the film with every possible chance to succeed both creatively and financially.
Pundits had put "Shutter" high on the list of possible awards contenders this year, given the Scorsese-DiCaprio pedigree and the fact that it's based on a novel by Dennis Lehane ("Mystic River"). However, the trailers, which have been running for several months, sell it as a thriller, which is not always a genre that gets kudos attention.
Laeta Kalogridis penned the script for the project, a co-production between Phoenix Pictures, Scorsese's Sikelia and DiCaprio's Appian Way banners. Mike Medavoy, Arnold Messer, Brad Fischer and Scorsese are producing.
"Shutter Island" is set in 1954, with DiCaprio portraying a U.S. Marshal investigating the disappearance of a murderess who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane and is presumed to be hiding on the remote Shutter Island.
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