After six months of brilliant boxoffice biz, the Movie Gods have turned off the sizzle.
It’s not that there just wasn’t any good late summer product, it’s that Hollywood’s still trying to have it both ways when it comes to feeding the streaming beast Wall Street promoted as moviegoing’s future.
With a real need for a strong family film in August, exhibitors lost out big time when Paramount turned producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s PG action adventure comedy SECRET HEADQUARTERS (pictured) into a Paramount+ original. SECRET, starring Owen Wilson, would have hit theatres 8/5 when it would only have been up against EASTER SUNDAY since BULLET TRAIN was then opening 7/29.
As things turned out, SECRET, a perfect father/son movie about a superhero’s underground hideaway, started streaming on 8/12 on Paramount+. It now holds the record as P+’s most-watched original movie during its first week.
Universal decided to launch HALLOWEEN ENDS day & date 10/14 on Peacock & in theatres. That’s not great news, but last October Universal also day & dated HALLOWEEN KILLS & it got open to a lively $49.4M despite pandemic pressures.
Meanwhile, WB/DC’s SHAZAM: FURY OF THE GODS is moving from 12/21 to 3/17/23 to replace AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM, which needs more post-production time & won’t surface until 12/25/23. But thanks to WB Discovery CEO David Zazlav, they’re both staying theatrical only releases, leaving hope for a better future.