FIRST LOOK: Antebellum – VOD

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.

10 Movies COMING TO THEATERS in April 2020

NOTE: This post will continue to be updated until the end of April 2020, as movie release dates change, sometimes within weeks of the scheduled release date

UPDATE 4/11/2020: With the coronavirus pandemic, most theaters have closed and planned release dates have changed. A strikethru on the release date and/or title indicates the planned date has changed.

The following are movie trailers and my early thoughts for all films tentatively scheduled coming to theaters in April 2020.

If you’d like to see a list of all movies released in 2020 click here (that post will be updated throughout the year).

2020 Theater Releases
JAN | FEB | MAR | APRIL 2020

If you’d like to see a list of all movies released in 2020 click here (that post is being updated throughout the year). Most releases profiled below are WIDE screenings showing on 2,000+ theater screens in the United States. If the movie title has the word LIMITED following then it means it’s being released on less than 2,000 screenings in the United States.

All movie release dates unless otherwise indicated are for the United States, the release dates in other countries may vary.

April 2020 Movies

The New Mutants
[FIRST LOOK]

The New Mutants opens in theaters April 3, 2020 (no new release date announced)

The trailer makes me think of this as a darker X-Men spinoff, which is what it seems to be.

Anticipation for The New Mutants: 6/10

The Lovebirds
[FIRST LOOK]

The Lovebirds opens in theaters April 3, 2020 (Purchased by Netflix, no release date announced)

“Take… the grease!” — the funny part of the trailer, but no comedy can survive on the humor of one joke. I’m worried about the comedic chemistry between this couple based on the trailer, as they don’t seem to be all that funny together, although the situations they are placed in look humorous. Will this be another Like a Boss on the humor scale? Could be. I’m interested though, because I enjoy comedies.

Anticipation for The Lovebirds: 5/10

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway

Peter Rabbit 2 official trailer – opening in theaters April 3, 2020 (moved to Jan 15, 2021)

Haven’t seen the first Peter Rabbit film, but this seems like it’s in that middleworld between children-friendly and adults. Trailer isn’t making me super excited for the movie. Was surprised to see it grossed over $350 million, which explains the presence of this sequel less than two years later.

Anticipation for Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway is: 2/10

No Time To Die
[FIRST LOOK]

No Time To Die opens wide in theaters on April 10, 2020 (moved to Nov 25, 2020)

The last Bond film for Daniel Craig, will he go out with a whimper or roar? I’m voting on somewhere in the middle. He’s got Rami Malek as a villain and that could amp everything up. I hope Bond doesn’t go off the rails into something completely unnoticeable after this. Just get another Bond (a guy, sorry, I don’t think it should be a woman playing James Bond 007). Then again, there is a female 007 in this movie. We’ll find out soon.

Anticipation for No Time To Die: 9/10

The Secret: Dare To Dream

The Secret: Dare to Dream opens in theaters April 17, 2020 (moved, no release date announced)

I remember seeing this book everywhere and wondering what the “Secret” was? In mid April I’ll find out. Could have always read the book, I suppose, but wasn’t that motivated. The teaser trailer is equally enigmatic and mostly just toting sales stats. While that’s impressive, I already knew it was popular. Guess I need to see a trailer showing something that actually happens in the movie to be excited.

Anticipation for The Secret: Dare To Dream: 3/10

Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman opens in theaters on April 17, 2020 (moved, release date TBA)

This trailer makes it look like the woman is hunting men by setup. She pretends to be too drunk and waits for them to take advantage of them and then does … what to them? Revenge is called out, but we don’t actually see any taking place. I’m getting a black widow spider vibe to this tale. Somewhat eager to see it.

Anticipation for Promising Young Woman: 5/10

Trolls World Tour
[FIRST LOOK]

Trolls World Tour official trailer #1

And now the second trailer:

Troll World Tour final trailer — opens wide in theaters April 17, 2020 (VOD released on April 10, 2020)

Our grandchildren are huge Trolls fans and must admit I like them, too. The sequel idea based on different tribes of trolls having a specific musical genre is sound, but I wonder why rock and roll always gets such a bad rap? It’s good music and I’d argue it’s better than some other types. Still, a troll tribe rolling around to the music of Ozzy Osbourne sounds like the making of a killer soundtrack at least. Looking forward to this.

Anticipation for Trolls World Tour: 7/10

Monster Problems — no trailer available to evaluate anticipation. Scheduled to open in theaters on April 17, 2020 (moved to Feb 21, 2021)

Antebellum

Antebellum opens in theaters on April 24, 2020 (moved, no release date announced)

After a string of bad horror films starting off 2020, my anticipation for this one is reduced. Then again, maybe this will be better because it’s following the sequel to A Quiet Place. It seems to be some kind of evil force based on or originating from slave catching times? Sort of has a more vengeful Harriet vibe going, but that could be totally off.

I cheated a bit and peeked at the Wikipedia page.

Successful author Veronica Henley finds herself trapped in a nightmarish reality and must find a way to break free of the horrors at hand.

Wikipedia for Antebellum

So, is this more of a Nightmare on Elm Street meets Harriet?

Anticipation for Antebellum: 3/10

Bad Trip
RELEASE DATE CHANGED from Feb 28 to April 24, 2020

Bad Trip official trailer – opening in theaters February 24, 2020 (moved, no release date announced)

Looks like reality TV gone wild. Sign me up! Will admit that I’ve never been a huge fan of reality TV, but there have been some shows (I liked Cops,The Osbournes and Gene Simmons Family Jewels and some others). The whole catch the audience real reactions to crazy scenes is often too gimmicky to hold my interest through a TV series, but in a movie maybe it will work. This one looks like it could be very funny, I just hope the trailer isn’t showing the best parts.

A little skeptical because they moved back the date. Most delayed films suggest production problems and/or negative initial screen testing. Haven’t heard that to be the case here, so we’ll see what kind of trip this is soon.

Anticipation for Bad Trip: 6/10

Ranking the April 2020 movies by anticipation (as of this writing)

  1. No Time To Die – 9/10
  2. Trolls World Tour – 7/10
  3. The New Mutants – 6/10
  4. Bad Trip – 6/10
  5. The Lovebirds – 5/10
  6. Promising Young Woman – 4/10
  7. Antebellum – 3/10
  8. The Secret: Dare To Dream – 3/10
  9. Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway – 2/10
  10. Monster Problems – no rating / no trailer

What movies in April 2020 are you looking forward to seeing?