EXCLUSIVE: Two action thrillers. Both set in London. Both from Millennium Films. On the same release date. Until now. Lionsgate just moved Criminal, starring Gary Oldman, Kevin Costner and Ryan Reynolds, off the same release date that London Has Fallen occupied after Gramercy and Focus staked out the same weekend a couple of months ago in a bit of schedule swap of its own. The Olympus Has Fallen follow-up, which returns stars Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhardt and Morgan Freeman, goes wide on January 22, 2016. (It had been on October 2 until 20th Century Fox moved its Matt Damon-Jessica Chastain sci-fi film The Martian to that spot). Criminal, from Summit Entertainment, will now be released on April 15, 2016.
That date looks promising as currently bowing will be Disney’s The Jungle Book, a horror film, and Paramount’s Richard Linklater baseball pic. It also comes only a couple weeks after Batman V. Superman which should give Criminal‘s female lead Gal Gadot a nice career boost and a bit of marketing buzz for her next film. Criminal‘s Ryan Reynolds will be seen in Deadpool two months before, courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
Meanwhile, Lionsgate is using the January 22 date for a bit of counterprogramming by placing Dirty Grandpa — the comedy starring Robert De Niro and Zac Efron — on that weekend. It shuffles up from a previous February 26, 2016 date. So now we have London Has Fallen, the faith-based Risen (starring Joseph Fiennes), and a horror film on that date.
Lastly, Summit’s Mechanic: Resurrection (also a Milennium produced film) which had been on April 15 (now taken by Criminal), has been pushed to the very end of the summer for a new August 26, 2016 release. The only other film on that date is a horror film from Sam Raimi.