is reporting that Lionsgate has set a January 16th, 2009 release date for Frank Miller's adaptation of Will Eisner's The Spirit.  The movie, which starts shooting in New Mexico in October, stars Gabriel Macht, Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Mendes, and Scarlett Johansson.


A January debut might not seem that auspicious, but the first quarter is becoming more attractive for the Hollywood studios after the tremendous success of Zack Snyder's adaptation of Frank Miller's 300 early this year, which opened on March 9th and earned $210 million domestically and more than $456 million worldwide.  Films with breakout potential face much less competition early in the year, and The Spirit's January opening should provide it with plenty of opportunity.