The summer is a very competitive time for movies, and many times we’ll see the major studios will book rival blockbusters on the same date, to see which movie will back out first.
The cinematic game of chicken has gone on for a long time, and when somebody’s got a really hot movie, like The Hunger Games or The Dark Knight Rises, there’s no way a rival studio would release their movie on the same day.
Now apparently the next game of box office chicken is shaping up for August 3 with the remake of Total Recall, and the next Bourne film, The Bourne Legacy.
As Patrick Goldstein reported in the L.A. Times, when Sony got the word out that the first trailer for Total Recall hits this Sunday during the Miami Heat / Boston Celtics game, “Sony is also sending a not-so-subtle signal to Universal Pictures that it means business.”
Of course we’ve all seen the major studios go head to head with each other with rival projects, like we have two Snow White movies coming out this year, and they also like to get macho about their release dates as well.
As the Times mentions, The Bourne Legacy’s had the August 3 date since late 2010, and Total Recall got set up on the same date shortly afterward. So far neither studio’s budging, but as Goldstein also notes, when two big movies go up against each other, somebody of course has to come in second, leaving the victors gloating and high five-ing each other up in the Ivory Tower.
Examples include the remake of The Karate Kid hitting theaters on the same day as the A-Team movie, but with Arthur and Your Highness coming out on the same day, they both lost. Also on July 12 of next year, Pacific Rim and the sequel to Adam Sandler’s Grown Ups are slated for the same day (Sandler better move out of the way for Guillermo Del Toro’s sci-fi epic, think that one’s definitely going to win the day), and Hangover 3 and Fast and Furious 6 (they’re up to six of them now?!) are scheduled for the same day, May 24 of next year. Personally, I think both movies will do well, but I’m hoping by next year people will be tired of both franchises, and they’ll finally give it a rest.
Funny enough, August isn’t exactly a hot month to open a film. May, June and July is when you’ve got a big winner, but at least one major blockbuster, The Sixth Sense, cleaned up in August. And it also remains to be seen how much interest and good will is left for a reboot of Total Recall, because like many I’m part of the generation where it’s not that old to be remade in the first place.
Who’s going to come out on top? Is either film going to get out of the way? There’s certainly still plenty of time to see who blinks first.