This has been a big year for delayed releases. Earlier this year the big summer tent pole G.I. Joe: Retaliation was pushed back to next year, initially blamed on a 3D retrofit but more likely in response to less than stellar previews and a studio push to add more Channing Tatum into the picture, now that his star has gone supernova.
Warner Bros' Gangster Squad was the most recent delay to hit the studios, in response to the Colorado shooting tragedy, but their push-back for The Great Gatsby seems less insidious in nature.
It's unlikely the film requires fixing, Warner Bros had enough confidence in the film to show it off at the recent CinemaCon and it originally had their backing with a prime awards season spot. The real issue is likely an excess of awards contenders for the studio. They have Ben Affleck's Argo and The Hobbit (and, outside bet, The Dark Knight Rises) to finance on the campaign trail. These campaigns don't come cheap and when there are too many mouths to feed, someone's going home hungry.
It's also worth considering that Gatsby-star Leonardo DiCaprio is said to have a lot of sway in these matters, being a key producer in his films, and perhaps he is banking on Django Unchained being his ticket into an Oscar win. It seems The Great Gatsby's only real crime is that it isn't as sure a bet as other releases this year.
The Great Gatsby will hold its own as some solid counter-programming among the homogenous summer blockbuster season, if it's strong enough to make an impression it can still snag a few awards nods the following season. It's not the omen of doom that some may fear.
The Great Gatsby will be released at an unconfirmed time Summer 2013.