It’s a cold day in hell when Dimension or Miramax Films actually listen to the horror fans or makes a smart decision and releases a horror movie that’s been collecting dust forever on their packed shelves. Today Variety reports that The Dark (Darkness), starring Anna Paquin, Lena Olin, Iain Glen, Giancarlo Giannini, Fele Martinez, Fermi Reixach and Stephen Enquist, will actually hit theaters December 25th instead of June 18th. But screw them- go pick it up on Ebay now for $10, that’ll teach em’ for sticking it on the shelf… watch the US trailer here and read about all the fun inside!
Variety also writes:
One piece of news avidly passed around the Marriott World Center didn’t came from the weekly Nielsen EDI calendar update: Dimension announced Thursday that it is going out with “The Darkness” on Christmas, Saturday, Dec. 25.
While the spooky house horror pic starring Anna Paquin has been sitting on the Dimension shelf for more than three years, the dating made waves because there are already five other wide releases slated between Wednesday, Dec. 22, and Christmas Day: Fox has both adventure pic “Flight of the Phoenix” and live-action kidpic “Fat Albert”; Universal has laffer sequel “Meet the Fockers”; Buena Vista has Wes Anderson pic “The Life Aquatic”; and Warner Bros. is unspooling musical “The Phantom Of The Opera” (first on 600 screens, then wider in January).
Opening in that frame in limited release are three other Miramax titles: “Proof,” “Bride and Prejudice” and “An Unfinished Life.” Plus MGM is launching “Hotel Rwanda” and Newmarket is unveiling “The Woodsman.”
So, how is the Miramax distrib team going to find a 1,000 theaters to play “The Dark,” especially in a market that will be saturated with three wide releases from the week before, including Miramax and Warners’ “The Aviator”?
“I don’t know what they’re deal is,” said Warners distrib prexy Dan Fellman of Miramax’s plans for “The Dark.” “Something will change.”
New Line topper David Tuckerman, who will be expanding “The Sea Inside” that week, said of the Christmas crunch, “It’s going to be awfully crowded at Christmas. I hope everyone gets in.”
Loews head buyer Steve Bunnell said that with all the distribs who’ll be vying for screens around the holiday, “I’m in denial.”
Fox’s Bruce Snyder, however, sounded a note of optimism. “It’s six wide releases. There’s enough room (in theaters). I don’t know if the market can sustain them all, though.”
On a somewhat related note, Miramax’s increasingly heavy Christmas release schedule was accompanied by rumors that the distribution department would be shrinking, following similar downsizing of the company’s production and marketing staffs. Miramax spokesman Matt Hiltzik dismissed that as speculation, however. “Our distribution needs will be addressed,” he said. “We appreciate your concern.”