MOVIE NEWS – Freaky horror director Christopher Landon has raised severe concerns not about the film but about the so-called day-and-date release strategy – that is, a film opening in theatres and on a streaming service simultaneously.
After a low-key opening weekend for Universal Pictures’ recent horror sequel Halloween Ends, filmmaker Christopher Landon has expressed concerns about day-and-date releases. Landon, who directed the 2020 horror film Freaky, took to social media to lash out at studios for not supporting films and filmmakers.
On Saturday, Landon criticised day-and-date releases in a long string of tweets.
His theme was Halloween Ends, which premiered Friday in theatres and on NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock. The reason given was lower than expected box office receipts for the alleged conclusion of the Michae Myers saga.
Landon all but begged the studios to “stop gambling with filmmakers and their movies to try and prop up your fledgling streaming services.” He continued, “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?”
Halloween ends its Friday opening with $43.4 million at the box office over the weekend. While the film debuted at number one, its current box office is well below the previously projected $50 million.
Landon, whose other credits include Happy Death Day and (as a writer) the Paranormal Activity franchise, is no stranger to simultaneous release strategies. The director’s 2020 body horror Freaky was released as an on-demand video less than a month after its theatrical premiere. On Twitter, Landon explained that big-name studios are using the films to experiment with home viewing and to support start-up streaming services.
More recently, Oppenheimer director Christopher Nolan publicly fell out with Warner Bros. over its decision to release all of its 2020 films simultaneously in theatres and on HBO Max.
Although Warner Bros. has claimed that this decision was made partly because of the COVID-19 epidemic, the lack of transparency with filmmakers and the apparent ploy to promote their new streaming service has hurt some creators badly.
In recent months, audiences worldwide have triumphantly returned to cinemas, but the impact of the pandemic on the film industry is still being felt. Day-and-date releases are becoming more normalised, so some films will likely continue to suffer at the box office, as they did at Halloween Ends.
Ooooooh I feel another rant coming on: Today it’s the Day & Date release strategy for Halloween Ends. Stop doing this. 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
— christopher landon (@creetureshow) October 15, 2022