Thursday, August 21, 2008

Another major holiday movie (yawn) shifts around the release schedule...

Entertainment Weekly probably ought to send out a revised version of its Fall Movie Preview from last week. In just the last eight days...

In a stunning (and stunningly intelligent) move, Warner Bros moved Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince moved from November 21st to July 17th, 2009. Then, in response to this true game changer...

Disney's Bolt switched from November 26th to November 21st.
Summit Entertainment's Twilight moved from December 12th to November 21st.

And now, Sony's Quantum Of Solace has moved back a week, from November 7th to November 14th. This new date places it in the same general weekend where Casino Royale, Die Another Day, and The World Is Not Enough opened. Although a quirk in the calendar means it has an extra weekend before the extended Thanksgiving holiday. Once again the major holiday titan has shifted the entire balance of power in the holiday season.

Madagascar 2 will now get a weekend all to its self on November 7th. And, since it's the holiday kickoff film (think the mega opening grosses of Interview With The Vampire, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Ransom, Monsters Inc, and The Incredibles), expect it to gross about $65 million over its now unopposed opening weekend and then flourish with the lack of family competition for two full weeks.

Despite opening in the same general weekend as Casino Royale, Quantum Of Solace is now on the second unofficial weekend of the holiday season, which is exactly where Goldeneye flourished back in 1995. It opened to a 007-record $26 million during the second weekend of Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. Of course, that too was the weekend before Thanksgiving.

The real loser is Australia, the expensive Hugh Jackman/Nicole Kidman period epic that was planning on using the November 14th date to make its mark in between the two biggies of the season. But now it's in direct competition with the remaining 800 pound gorilla, so it's in big trouble. Expect this one to move to perhaps Thanksgiving weekend, where it will now face much less direct competition (cough - move Star Trek to Thanksgiving - cough). This just in... the other major film on the 14th, the comedy Role Models, has just moved to November 7th to escape the wrath of 007.

Why Sony is deciding to not take advantage of its kick-off birth, yet giving it a full weekend to bleed before the Thanksgiving holiday is a mystery to me. This is just my opinion, but I say let it explode out of the gate in early November, and let it get its second wind over the long Thanksgiving weekend (remember, everything drops like a rock after Thanksgiving weekend). Regardless, Quantum Of Solace will open huge ($60 million+) no matter where it opens, but its odd that it seems to be running from Madagascar 2 of all things. I eagerly await the new website: The delay of Quantum Of Solace one week later has ruined my

Scott Mendelson

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