Why is Uni doing this in the wake of moviegoers’ great return to theaters for Disney/Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings, that pic having cleared $106M?
I understand it’s all about eventizing the sequel, not only in theaters, but on the studio’s pay tier level of its streaming service; similar to what they did with Boss Baby: Family Business over Independence Day weekend; that pic grossing $57M domestic, $105M WW. Originally, Sony had Venom: Let There Be Carnage on the same date as Halloween Kills, before they moved to the first weekend of October. One would think that Uni had to hatch this dynamic streaming theatrical plan for Halloween Kills because of the then threat of Venom 2. However, that wasn’t the case; Sony couldn’t get the large format screens it wanted any way on that Oct. 15 date. I hear Uni was happy with Boss Baby 2 on the service, and wanted try this again with Halloween Kills. The movie’s move to a dynamic window has nothing to do with any fears about the delta variant’s future impact on the domestic B.O. However, you gotta say, October for the first time in a long time is fiercely competitive with Venom: Let There Be Carnage on Oct. 1, No Time to Die on Oct. 8 (both theatrical window releases), Halloween Kills hybrid on Oct. 15 and Warner Bros/Legendary’s Dune on screens and HBO Max on Oct. 22.
The first Halloween from David Gordon Green with Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her role as Laurie Strode opened to $76.2M in October 2018; the third best debut for the month. The pic wound up being the highest grossing ever in the classic horror series making $159.3M stateside, $255.6M WW. I’ve heard that creative partners on Halloween Kills are being made whole given the shift in distribution strategy, based on a financial outlook that’s similar to the 2018 movie.