Back at the end of September, coming up on our 31 Days of Horror feature, I complained about a lack of Horror coming to the screen that month. Now, this being so close to the Holidays, I’m in a good mood because my glass of egg nog is always at least half-full and I love Christmas cookies. So what could ruin my good mood? A painful reminder that Hollywood has no idea how to time a film’s release.
The Spirit was released on Christmas day, though without having seen it, maybe there really was something to do with the Christmas spirit. But if I recall the comic correctly, there is not. Heck, Four Christmases came out in November, a full month before Christmas day. But that aside, what really bothered me was the schedule for January. January isn’t a great month, I know. We blow our Holiday load early, with New Year’s Day. So there isn’t much going on to pin a release to, but why fill it up with horror? There is a horror movie going into wide release every weekend in January! On January 9th, we get David S. Goyer’s The Unborn. The following week we get My Bloody Valentine 3D, which is nowhere close to Valentine’s Day. Though to be fair, Valentine’s Day weekend is occupied by Friday the 13th, a release date I support because it’s actually on a Friday the 13th. After Valentine, on the 23rd we get the third installment of Underworld, followed a week later by the remake of a Korean film, The Uninvited.
Looking back at October 2008, there were 2 horror films in wide release (Quarantine and Saw V), 1 horror film in a more limited release (The Haunting of Molly Hartley) and the not-really-horror but satisfying Nightmare Before Christmas 3D. Jump forward to October 2009 and right now there are only two tentative releases, the horror/comedy Zombieland and the horror-but-sounds-like-a-thriller-instead Stepfather. So January sees double the amount of horror films than October, the month of Halloween. And I didn’t even mention the limited release of the After Dark Horrorfest, which takes place from January 9th until January 15th! Eight films will be part of that releasing, so if we add them, that is 12 horror films in January set up against an average of 2 in October. Seriously what the hell is going on here?
I realize this is somewhat of a retread, but in my Holiday Mirth and egg nog stupor I am otherwise unaffected by the world right now. One thing is for sure – my January is going to be busy as hell digging through all of these ill-timed horror releases. And while October is usually my favorite month of the year, because of the weather, horror, and Halloween, I may soon want to start parading around town dressed as a zombie in January and carving pumpkins for New Years. So if anyone out there can make sense of how dumping horror films, which are almost always profitable regardless of release date, 3 months out from the month of Horror makes sense. Maybe that’s the reason – horror films make money no matter where you drop them, so might as well drop them in a slow month. I don’t know – all I do know is that I’m past my boiling point.
What do you think of this release schedule? Are you excited for any of these horror releases?