Christmas Day additions of “The Hateful Eight” and “Daddy’s Home” are a tough break for Warner Bros./Alcon’s remake
Hollywood doesn’t seem very afraid of Alcon’s “Point Break” remake, which will be distributed by Warner Bros. later this year.
In the past two weeks, Quentin Tarantino‘s “The Hateful Eight” and the Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg comedy “Daddy’s Home” have joined the already-crowded Christmas Day frame currently occupied by “Point Break,” a movie rumored to cost $100 million-plus that doesn’t boast a single major movie star, no offense to the wildly talented Edgar Ramirez.
Christmastime always offers a pile-up of new releases because so many people go to the movies over the holidays, and each year yields its share of hits and casualties. This year’s Christmas Day releases are perhaps at the greatest disadvantage in the history of movies thanks to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
I pity the poor movies that opened on Christmas Day 2009, exactly one week after James Cameron‘s blockbuster “Avatar” hit theaters, but that was an original, untested property and “Star Wars” may be the most established brand in the known galaxy.
So right off the bat (or light saber), Christmas Day isn’t the best time to open a non-franchise movie this year. Next, Christmas Day offers new movies from arguably the three biggest movie stars on the planet, and I’m not talking about “Alvin and the Chipmunks.” This year, audiences are scheduled to ring in the holidays with Will Smith‘s “Concussion,” Leonardo DiCaprio‘s “The Revenant” and Jennifer Lawrence‘s “Joy.”
It’s hard enough to compete with football, eye-popping visuals from the Oscar-winning duo behind “Birdman” and America’s Sweetheart, not to mention another animated “squeakquel,” but now there’s a new Tarantino movie, a huge studio comedy and a new movie from Oliver Stone starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Edward Snowden. Plus the second weekend of the Tina Fey-Amy Poehler comedy “Sisters.”
That’s a lot of competition, and Alcon can count on the fact that “Star Wars” will enjoy a lot of repeat business too. Do you see where I’m going here? It’s legitimately crazy to open an expensive, star-free movie like “Point Break” on Christmas Day this year, which is why Alcon should’ve pushed the film to Jan. 22, 2016.
Unfortunately, they were just beaten to the punch by Focus Features, which will now release its action-packed sequel “London Has Fallen” on that date. The Gerard Butler film was moved off of Oct. 2 after 20th Century Fox moved up Ridley Scott‘s star-studded sci-fi movie “The Martian” to the same day.
Rather than try to take on Matt Damon in space, Focus surveyed the release calendar and wisely moved “London” to Jan. 22, 2016, where it will go up against a faith-based movie starring Tom Felton, STX’s low-budget thriller “The Boy” and the Kevin Costner-Ryan Reynolds crime drama “Criminal.”
Asked whether Alcon had any plans to change the “Point Break” release date, a representative for the company told TheWrap it has “no intention of moving ‘Point Break’ and they’re very confident in that date.”
Dating movies is considered one of the trickiest aspects of the business, and Warner Bros. and Alcon never could’ve known that so many studios would be willing to put their finest movie presents under the country’s collective Christmas tree. They may have missed out on a golden opportunity by refusing to blink thus far over this year’s Christmas Day showdown, but there’s still a chance for redemption. Stay tuned.