EXCLUSIVE: Hoping to scare up some extra business by being the first genre release of 2017, The Weinstein Company and Dimension Films are pulling Amityville: The Awakening out of its April 1 berth and will instead open it January 6, 2017. The Franck Khalfoun-directed revival of the famed (or infamous, if you live on Long Island like I do) franchise stars Bella Thorne, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Cameron Monaghan.
Insiders say the decision was made after TWC execs and producer Jason Blum got a look at the finished film, and distribution chief Erik Lomis saw an opportunity. Turns out people like to be scared at the start of a year, by things other than holiday credit card bills and by what they see in the mirror after the holiday gorge. Among the fright films that thrived coming out within the first two weeks of the calendar year are One Missed Call ($26 million domestic gross), The Unborn ($42 million domestic gross), Daybreakers ($30 million domestic), The Devil Inside ($53 million domestic), Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D ($34 million), Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones ($32 million), Woman In Black 2: Angel Of Death ($26 million), and The Forest ($26 million).
There are other horror films in January including Friday the 13th, the M. Night Shyamalan-directed Split and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. But Amityville will beat them all out of the gate.