How long do you have to wait to receive a new release from Netflix?

The same amount of time you have to wait to receive any movie from Netflix: around 2 to 3 days.

For example, say you want to rent a new release called Red Bull Nation (I'm just making up a title). Red Bull Nation will be released on December 20, 2009, and you have put it at the very top of your Queue (in the #1 slot).

Now, say you already have the movie Reservoir Dogs at home with you. You mail Reservoir Dogs back to them on December 16, 2009.

If they receive Reservoir Dogs on December 18 (two days before Red Bull Nation is released), they will NOT mail Red Bull Nation to you. Since Red Bull Nation hasn't been released yet, it is considered unavailable. Instead, they will mail you the movie that is #2 on your Queue.

If they receive Reservoir Dogs on December 20 (the day Red Bull Nation is released), then they will mail Red Bull Nation to you, and it will take the same amount of time to be delivered as any other movie.

If they receive Reservoir Dogs on December 19 (the day before Red Bull Nation is released) then I THINK they MIGHT mail Red Bull Nation to you, even though it won't officially be released until the next day. I might be wrong, but I think that's how it works.