With the announcement that the Eli Roth-produced Clown finally getting a U.S. theatrical release after year’s of lying on Dimension’s shelf, it got us thinking about the countless number of other films that have been made only to be shelved for months (or years) on end. Sometimes it’s just because a movie is bad and the studio wants to hold on to it and release it when the time is right in order to make a quick buck. Other times, the decision to hold on to movies makes absolutely no sense. Anyway, here are 10 of the most notable films
The Green Inferno
After premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival in September of 2013, Eli Roth’s cannibal film was set for release the following September. However, as is wont to happen, financial trouble plaguing the production company caused the film to be pulled from release until September of 2015, where it went on to gross just over $7 million domestically. This was a case where shelving a film did not do it any favors, as two years of hype built the film up too much and by September 2015 word of mouth had died down.
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters
This critical flop was set to open on March 2, 2012 but ended up being delayed until the dump month of January the following year. The reason? Because lead actor Jeremy Renner has two movies coming out that year (The Avengers and The Bourne Legacy) and the studio wanted to wait until those movies were released and Renner became more of a household name. The move didn’t work that well domestically (it grossed $55 million on a $50 million budget), but it grossed $170 million internationally, prompting a sequel that is supposedly going to be released later this year.
Carrie’s move wasn’t as drastic, just being moved from March to October of 2013. The initial release date made sense, as it would be right before prom season, but releasing it in the horror-centric month of October was definitely a better move. Unfortunately, it only made $35 million on its $30 million budget.
World War Z
World War Z is one of the more notorious films on this list, mainly because of it’s sketchy release schedule. After extensive reshoots and a last minute script re-write, the film was set to be released on December 12, 2012 only to be pushed back six months to June of 2013 so that Paramount could release Jack Reacher that month instead.
Trick ‘r Treat
Man, this one was rough for horor fans. Michael Dougherty’s outstanding Halloween anthology was supposed to be released on October 5, 2007, only to be pushed back indefinitely. It had its first public screening at Butt-Numb-A-Thon in Austin, TX on December 9, 2007 and went on to screen at several more festivals. It was a long two-year wait though, as it wasn’t released on home video until October 6, 2009. They couldn’t even give us a theatrical release?
This dud was filmed in 2006 and set to be released on February 8, 2008. It got a small push to February 22, 2008, then a bigger one to August 22, 2008. As if that wasn’t bad enough, it was pushed back again to April 10, 2009 before receiving a final bump to October 1, 2010. To top it all off, the movie was terrible. Poor Renée Zellweger.
Like Case 39, The Wolfman also saw its release date pushed back several times. First up was November 12, 2008. Then February 12, 2009. Then April 3, 2009. Then November 6, 2009. It finally settled on February 12, 2010. With a worldwide take of $139 million on a $150 million budget, it proved to be one of the more costly flops Universal Pictures had had in quite some time. Shifting release dates weren’t the film’s only problem. The entire production faced issues. A director (Mark Romanek) left the project due to creative differences and a composer (Danny Elfman) left as well. There were six months of reshoots beginning in December of 2008 (just so del Toro could run on all fours as the titular beastie). It was all a big mess.
The Cabin in the Woods
The Cabin in the Woods is
arguably the best movie on this list, so it’s sort of confusing as to why it was delayed for two years. Originally slated for February 5, 2010 by MGM, it was pushed back to January 14, 2011 so that it could be converted into 3D (thank God that didn’t happen). In June of 2010 is was revealed that the film would be postponed indefinitely due to financial problems with the studio. It was eventually sold to Lionsgate and premiered on March 9, 2012 at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX before being released theatrically on April 13, 2012.
Amityville: The Awakening
Yeesh, who knows what is going on with this one? It was supposed to come out on January 2, 2015 but was removed from the schedule before being pushed back over a year to April 1, 2016. Poor test screening responses caused the film to be pushed back again to January 17, 2017. Even with a pretty great cast (which includes Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bella Thorne and Cameron Monaghan), it doesn’t seem like we’ll be in for a good Amityville movie.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
If there’s any reason to delay a film, a pregnancy is certainly a good one. Those fans clamoring for the (hopefully) last Resident Evil film (I’m including myself in that group) must have been pretty disappointed when Resident Evil: The Final Chapter was moved from its September 12, 2014 release date because of actress Milla Jovovich’s pregnancy with husband (and director) Paul W.S. Anderson. Never fear though! It will be released on January 27, 2017.
What are some other films that you feel took too long to get released? Let us know in the comments below!