Tuesday, May 5, 2015

'Monster Trucks' Moves... Again...


Once again, Paramount Animation has delayed Monster Trucks...

The film, until now, was set to open on Christmas Day of this year. A week away from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The film - an animation/live-action hybrid directed by Chris Wedge - is not based on any pre-existing material, and it is expectedly going to be a family film... The Force Awakens would've crushed it.

So I had suggested a little while ago that they should move it to February 12, 2016... You know, the date that Universal/Illumination's The Secret Life of Pets recently vacated?

Nope... Paramount has now opted for March 18, 2016, according to The Wrap. This is the release date that Kung Fu Panda 3 used to occupy. A week before Batman v Superman, the same day as Allegiant, Part 1, and two weeks after Zootopia.

All I have to ask is... Why?

This release date isn't as bad as 12/25/2015, but still, 2/12/2016 gives it A LOT more room than this date. I'm not saying that Zootopia and Monster Trucks will cannibalize each other, but sometimes a chunk of money gets lost when similar films open close to each other. I think that's mostly due to the first film that opened loosing its screens, especially the 3D ones, to the second film. Also, the blockbusters will take away the teens and adults... Unless Monster Trucks is backed by a marketing campaign that makes it look great.

Then again...

The Divergent series isn't a real "must-see" series. The sequel opened with less than the first film and is having overall weaker legs than its predecessor as well. Also, I've heard that there is no need to make two films out of the series' third and final book, and remember how Mockingjay, Part 1 opened? I don't think this film will be much of a threat to Monster Trucks, again, should the film look great from the marketing. I mean, Allegiant, Part 1, will still open well, but it's no Hunger Games or Marvel movie.

Still, it's two weeks after Zootopia, and I think both films should be given room to breathe. Plus, Batman v Superman could take a chunk out of it the following weekend. It won't hurt it badly, but for best results, Monster Trucks should be in a place where it won't have to get hit like that on its second weekend.

Again... February 12, 2016. It was right there, Paramount. Why didn't you step right in?

I still think it has the potential to do good in this spot, much more so than before. The Force Awakens would've flattened everything around it, and everything that was set to open near it eventually moved: Warcraft, Inferno, Kung Fu Panda 3, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, and now this... The only films opening near that behemoth are small-scale films like Joy, ConcussionXmas and Sisters. Fox for some reason is currently okay with "Hipmunks" 4 opening around that film.

All Monster Trucks needs is a good opening weekend, and regardless of what stands in the way, the legs should be good as long as audiences like what they saw... Which is usually the case with animated family films, even the poorly-received ones. It and Zootopia can certainly co-exist, as Brave and Madagascar 3 did some three years ago, ditto Monsters University, Despicable Me 2, Turbo, The Smurfs 2 and Planes co-existing two years ago. Some of those films in that summer may not have opened too well, but they all had good legs.

But more importantly... The marketing for this film has to be good! The SpongeBob Movie surprised back in February, but at the same time the show is still very popular and the film was well-received. This is an original concept, it's not based on a pre-existing property, so it arguably has something of an uphill battle ahead of it.

What do you think of the new release date?

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