Departing from its previous theatrical release strategy, Universal revealed on Thursday that it will make its “Halloween Kills” debut in theaters and in peace on October 15.
The studio, which made a deal to release films in theaters for at least 17 days before heading to the domestic market, is trying to make its latest horror film a timeline and encourage consumers to flock to it. its streaming service. East.
“Halloween Kills,” produced by Universal, Miramax and Blumhouse, was originally slated for theatrical release only. It takes place right after ‘Halloween’ of 2018, which saw Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), her daughter, and granddaughter leave masked killer Michael Myers locked up and burned in Laurie’s basement.
It is not known if Universal has made a deal with movie chains to change the film’s release strategy. The company has been criticized for adopting a date-and-date release plan for “Trolls: World Tour” in early 2020. At the time, such releases were unheard of in the industry and prompted Universal to negotiate with theaters to submit their films. streaming or on demand on the big screen for at least three weeks.
Universal’s move also comes amid renewed confidence at the domestic box office after Disney’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” shattered opening weekend screenings and set a box office record. -Labour Day weekend office. The success of the latest Marvel movie prompted Sony to postpone the release of “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” for two weeks.
A pattern has emerged among recently released films that suggests that when a film hits streaming platforms and theaters at the same time, box office ticket sales are cannibalistic. However, Universal might not be too concerned about this, as horror movies have small budgets and easily recoup the cost of production at the box office.
2018 “Halloween” had an estimated budget of between $ 10 million and $ 15 million. It grossed over $ 250 million worldwide.
Considering “Halloween Kills” has a similar budget, even with a simultaneous release, it may have paid off on its opening weekend. After all, “Halloween” grossed nearly $ 80 million when it debuted four years ago. Of course, with the pandemic going on, “Halloween Kills” is unlikely to hit that number.
Currently, “Black Widow” holds the highest opening weekend record of any movie released during the pandemic, at $ 80 million. “Shang-Chi” came in second with ticket sales of around $ 75 million in its first three days in theaters.
In some box office sales, Universal is hoping to draw audiences to Peacock. Notably, October 2020 was Peacock’s most-watched month for horror and fantasy series and films. By keeping “Halloween Kills” at its service, Universal can attract significant registrations.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal is the distributor of “Halloween Kills”.