Hollywood’s Dating Hell: Too Many Movies Crowd the Calendar
10:08 AM PDT 10/18/2012 by THR Staff
There simply aren’t enough weekends in the year to support the number of wide releases studios and bigger indie players are jamming into the multiplex. Except in cases of summer and holiday tentpoles, film companies have little choice but to pick a date and hope it doesn’t get too crowded.
Paramount delayed The Dictator’s release by several days to get out of the way of Warner Bros.’ Dark Shadows.
'The Expendables 2' vs. 'The Bourne Legacy'
While no studio likes to be the first to blink, they are becoming quicker to shift dates to avoid a pileup. This summer, Lionsgate pushed The Expendables 2 back a week to avoid an action showdown with Universal’s The Bourne Legacy.
A Crowded Sept. 21 Weekend
The weekend of Sept. 21 was fierce, with End of Watch (Open Road), House at the End of the Street (Relativity), Dredd 3D (Lionsgate) and Trouble With the Curve (Warners) all duking it out. Dredd debuted to an anemic $6.3 million, one of the worst openings of all time for a comic book adaptation, which stunned many considering the positive buzz it generated at Comic-Con in July.
'Hotel Transylvania' vs. 'Frankenweenie'
in February, Sony, juggling a crowded fall slate, pushed Hotel Transylvania back to Sept. 28, leaving only a one-week gap between its own kid pic and Disney's Frankenweenie. A nervous Disney contemplated moving Frankenweenie but decided to stay the course when early tracking suggested the black-and-white picture would open north of $20 million. That didn’t happen. Frankenweenie bowed to only $11.4 million, the latest fatality in Hollywood’s brutal dating wars.
Battle of the Oct. 12 Weekend Releases
Lionsgate worried that Sinister’s opening would be cannibalized by CBS Films’ dark comedy Seven Psychopaths because both movies were going after males during the Oct. 12 weekend. But the $3 million Sinister, a horror pic fully produced and financed by Blumhouse Productions and Automatik, was the victor, grossing a better-than-expected $18 million. Psychopaths struggled, opening to an under- whelming $4.2 million from 1,480 locations. Even Sony’s own Here Comes the Boom got caught in Transylvania’s wake when it opened Oct. 12 to a disappointing $11.8 million while Transylvania took in $17.2 million.
Christmas Comedy Showdown
A showdown between Christmas comedy films: Universal's This Is 40 to release on Dec. 21, and Paramount's The Guilt Trip and Fox's Parental Guidance, both in theaters on Dec. 25.
Action, Thriller and Crime
Broken City (Fox) and The Last Stand (Lionsgate) will be released on Jan. 18, 2013, with FilmDistrict's Parker out a week later on Jan. 25, 2013.
Domestic box office is down 20 percent in the U.S. as "Sex Tape" goes limp and, for the first time since 2001, no film crosses $300 million. Laments one studio executive, “I wish I worked at Netflix.” Read More
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