Freaky director Christopher Landon rails against dual releases

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The dual theatrical and streaming release of Halloween Kills seems to have bought back some unpleasant memories for the director of Freaky

According to most reports, Halloween Ends has opened rather poorly this past week, ‘only’ managing to stump up around $41m during its opening weekend at the North American box office. That’s the lowest opening of the new Halloween trilogy and whilst some may point to the tepid reviews for the film (you can catch our thoughts right here), the dual release in cinemas and on the Peacock streaming platform in the US is also being highlighted as a potential factor.

The latter thought is certainly one shared by Christopher Landon, the director of 2020’s Freaky, the body-swapping comedy horror that appeared on streamers less than a month after its theatrical debut. Landon took to social media to rail against the strategy and offer a few details into the way he was unwillingly drawn into the dual release approach:

“Ooooooh I feel another rant coming on: Today it’s the Day & Date release strategy for Halloween Ends,” Landon posted to Twitter the day of the film’s premiere.

“Stop doing this. Please. It doesn’t work. Studios: stop gambling with filmmakers and their movies to try and prop up your fledgling streaming services. This happened to me on Freaky and it destroyed us. We worked SO HARD to make a fun movie. Blood sweat and tears. Months away from our families. And for what? They love to use the term: ‘two bites of the apple’ but that’s just another way of saying ‘we’re gonna use your movie as a Guinea pig’ for our streaming service.”

Landon would also add a familiar complaint of other filmmakers and creative personnel, that being that the dual release strategy hurt his earnings too, stating that he got ‘hosed’ alongside other key creatives: “Sorry. I begged the studio not to do this. Either circle the wagons and protect it for theatrical or just go all in on streaming. Don’t split hairs. At least the Halloween folks were made whole. We got hosed. So yeah…bitter subject. PTSD. Dear studios: stop trying to suck two d*cks at the same time. Honour the sanctity of the theatrical experience. End rant.”

Whether this strategy hurts Halloween Ends final take will be an ongoing matter for discussion, but given that Landon is reuniting with Blumhouse and Universal once more for a remake of The Exorcist, it’s unlikely that director David Gordon Green will be making public any similar misgivings that he might share. As for Christopher Landon, he is now working on the adventure comedy We Have A Ghost featuring David Harbour, which unsurprisingly isn’t being made at Universal. That project is set to release on Netflix at some point in 2023.


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