The patience of a lion?
Um, not the case for waiting for movie theaters to reopen by studio Lionsgate and their new horror picture.
Originally scheduled for an April 2020 release, Lionsgate did push back the date to August 21, hoping theaters would be reopened by then. Theaters are, in fact, planning to reopen wherever they can on August 21. The timing is right, if they want to be new.
However, on July 31, Antebellum was delayed from a theatrical release “temporarily” with no new date announced.
Yesterday, a new release date was announced, but not in theaters, it’s going straight to a VOD/PVOD on September 18.
Yes, another theatrical film that has skipped theaters for streaming VOD.
Bush and Renz added, “While we designed Antebellum to be consumed as a communal experience in the theater, we are thrilled by the unique opportunity we have to pivot to a different kind of communal moment in our culture. As we face the realities of systemic racism in our country, which have crescendoed to this current inflection point in 2020, we understand how imperative it is to bring Antebellum to the broadest audience possible, while also prioritizing health and safety. It is our ardent hope that by sharing our film widely, both nationally and internationally, we will transform the moviegoing experience from home into a true event.”‘Antebellum’ Heads Straight to Premium VOD Amid Pandemic | Hollywood Reporter
Movie theaters are planning, at least as of this writing of reopening as much as 80% of movie theaters by August 21. Apparently Lionsgate is skeptical by this prediction, giving into straight to VOD release.
The official trailer:
Kinda puzzling what Lionsgate is doing with this title. They could have had their cake and eaten it too, a la Universal and a 17 day theatrical window (see: Good deal – AMC strikes historic deal with Universal to shrink theatrical window to 17 days). Sign that deal, release in the theater for three weekends and then go VOD. Their quoted words above fall a bit empty because whether or not enough theaters were open, some will be at least. If they wanted their film screened in some theaters, particularly internationally, the option is there. They are passing.
Originally, I was looking forward to seeing this in theaters on/around August 21. I don’t know how good a horror film it will be, but so far this year, we haven’t had many good new horror releases. Vivarium? More Twilight Zone than horror. January new horror releases were terrible. The Invisible Man reboot from Blumhouse surprised me and stands out as probably the best new horror film I’ve seen this year. Shudder has had some good new releases, too, if you are keeping up with them.
Call me a dreamer or whatever, thinking Lionsgate would stick to the theaters are back open today date (we can debate in the comments if being one of the very first new films in theaters when they reopen is good or bad for business). Think now I might pass on the premium VOD and wait for it to hit one of the streaming services.
This is going to happen with some moviegoers that want to see certain movies in theaters. Patience isn’t that big a deal when the streaming channels pick them up within a few months. I mean, Scoob seemed to show up in like a few weeks.
Antebellum will be streaming on VOD/PVOD on September 18, 2020.