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Landon took to Twitter on Saturday to lament day-and-date releases for films such as the latest entry in Universal Pictures’ Halloween saga, which opened wide in 3,901 theaters on Friday, the same day it was also made available to stream on Peacock. Landon explained that this remains a sore subject for him, given that his horror-comedy movie Freaky was available on-demand less than a month after releasing theatrically on Nov. 13, 2020.
“Stop doing this,” Landon posted about day-and-date-releases. “Please. It doesn’t work. Studios: stop gambling with filmmakers and their movies to try and prop up your fledgling streaming services. This happened to me on Freaky and it destroyed us. We worked SO HARD to make a fun movie. Blood sweat and tears. Months away from our families. And for what?”
Landon said that films are being used as Guinea pigs to experiment with the viability of at-home viewing and that he “begged” the studio to change its Freaky strategy. “Either circle the wagons and protect it for theatrical or just go all in on streaming,” continued Landon, who also helmed Happy Death Day. “Don’t split hairs. At least the Halloween folks were made whole. We got hosed. So yeah…bitter subject. PTSD.”
He concluded colorfully, “Dear studios: stop trying to suck two dicks at the same time. Honor the sanctity of the theatrical experience.”
Halloween Ends is headed for a softer-than-expected $43.3 million opening weekend after having been previously tracking at over $50 million. Its franchise predecessor, Halloween Kills, was released day-and-date last year and opened to $49.4 million.
Universal’s Freaky starred Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton in the story of a male serial killer who swaps bodies with a teenage girl. The film, which made $9 million at the domestic box office, was released as the industry was weighing options amid the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This topic has been a hot-button one for Hollywood, as Christopher Nolan was among the filmmakers to criticize Warner Bros.’ surprise announcement in late 2020 that all of its releases for the following year would be available day-and-date on HBO Max.
A Universal representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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