Harvey Weinstein's explanation on release date: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/movies/2012/01/shia-labeouf-tom-hardy-wettest-county-release-date-harvey-weinstein.html
“We have a star in Tom Hardy who’s completely anonymous right now. If you go to a line at the ArcLight nobody would know who he is,” Weinstein told 24 Frames. But the film executive said that it would change with the release of Hardy’s Batman picture (Hardy plays the villain, Bane) in July. “He’s going to be a huge movie star by August,” Weinstein said.
Weinstein, who said he believed performances from Hardy and LaBeouf would attract awards attention, also said that the new date would allow the film to play at at least one major international festival.
“The idea is to go to Venice and then hit the domestic market right after,” he said. It was a tack Weinstein said was taken by “The Constant Gardener,” Fenrando Mereilles' 2005 John le Carre adaptation; the movie, released by Focus Features in late summer, went on to gross $33 million domestically and $48 million internationally.
Labor Day is typically considered a very slow weekend in U.S. moviegoing, but Weinstein noted that “it can be a great bridge between the summer and the fall. And we wanted the holiday weekend for the movie, especially down South, where there’s a big audience for this film.”
While a movie’s period setting usually dictates a limited release, Weinstein said he saw “Wettest County” as a wide play and planned on opening it in several thousand theaters.