Monday, January 26, 2015

Movin' Movies: New Dates For Paramount Releases

Paramount recently did some date switches..

First of all, Mission: Impossible V was moved away from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The film was originally set to open on Christmas Day, now it's set for a 7/31/2015 release. A perfect release date, which gives it a lot more room to breathe. I have a feeling V will benefit from the success of the excellent Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, and it has a set-piece that is sure to rival its awesome Burj Khalifa climb sequence...

However, I'm not thrilled with the other move they made...

Monster Trucks is Paramount Animation's second film, and very little is known about it. Until now, it was slated for a May 29th release, but now it's occupying the Christmas Day slot Mission: Impossible V used to have.

Two words... Star Wars.

What is with these studios? Do they think Star Wars: The Force Awakens isn't going to be a juggernaut or something?

DreamWorks moved Kung Fu Panda 3 out of Christmas 2015 for a good reason, and that's Kung Fu Panda we're talking about! An established brand and a well-liked franchise to boot! Monster Trucks is an original story and it's not based on any existing IP. Also set to open near Force Awakens is the untitled fourth Alvin and the Chipmunks film. Remember the third entry in that franchise didn't quite open well despite pulling strong legs (there was literally nothing else out for the kiddies and families, so it slowly made all that money), so why open the fourth one against Star Wars?

I don't understand why they pick these dates. I really don't. Maybe I'm dead wrong and anything released near Star Wars will do fine.

After all, back in Christmas 2009, Avatar didn't completely dominate. To be fair, many assumed James Cameron's massive space epic would be a huge flop. (I guess Titanic didn't teach 'em!) Many studios were confident releasing their blockbusters next to it. Sherlock Holmes opened on Christmas Day, The Princess and the Frog opened wide the week before Cameron's film landed, Alvin 2 opened five days after it.

When Avatar broke out, the other films still did fine. The Princess and the Frog had strong legs and crawled to $100 million, Alvin 2 still made $200 million+, Sherlock Holmes grossed $200 million+. Maybe there's some hope for Monster Trucks, but I reckon it'll need to make quite a bit. What's the budget on the picture? I don't want it to be crushed or lose money. This is the studio's second film and it sounds like it's going to be good. (I heard some leaked details that sounded interesting, plus it's being written by the Kung Fu Panda writers and Safety Not Guaranteed's Derek Connolly)

I just think something like The Force Awakens is a little different from Avatar because it's already hotly anticipated and everyone knows it'll be HUGE. The fact that both Alvin 4 and Monster Trucks were released near it tell me that the distributors behind them have little confidence and are simply dumping them in that slot, hoping holiday legs will somewhat save them. Paramount did the same to The Adventures of Tintin back in 2011. In Europe the film was an early autumn release, here Paramount opted to slam the film against Alvin 3, Ghost Protocol, and other to-be hits.

That all being said, when does Paramount intend to release The Little Prince in the states? The film's logo appeared at the 2015 Licensing Expo, and it's known that it'll be distributed under Paramount's Vantage banner. But when... Is the question. Same day as the French release? October 7th?

What do you think of the date change? Smart? Unwise? Just fine?


  1. Maybe they want to slow down Star Wars. The last trilogy was disapointing, and maybe they think their films will stop a Disney cash cow before it starts.

  2. what are the leaked details?....

    1. The article has been updated with the link, but here it is anyway:

  3. We'll see how this turns out. Pitting any film up against Star Wars is risky business. Are the studios underestimating the power of the franchise, or do they simply not care? Either way, I think The Force Awakens has the potential to take the all-time box office crown from Avatar, so hopefully these films don't fare too bad.