Written by Films

Scheduling Films

A regular moan, but it bears repeating. Do we have to have “awards season” films? What is the idiocy behind releasing every film Hollywood (and others) think is awards worthy over a 2-3 month period when there are so many barren times of the year?

Yes – I understand that winning an Oscar/BAFTA has a real impact on box office. But your film is probably not going to win one. It might get a nomination or two, but you’re probably going to be disappointed.

Because here’s the thing: I’m your target market. I appreciate good films. But if you release them all in a glut, then I can’t see them. I’m already backed up massively!

Here’s a list of “contenders” and their UK release dates:

26 December – Big Eyes, Unbroken
1 January – Birdman, Theory of Everything
9 January – Foxcatcher, Into The Woods
16 January – American Sniper, Whiplash, Wild
23 January – Ex Machina
30 January – Inherent Vice

(Note: I may not necessarily want to see every one of those films, but they’d all be in my consideration lists. And that’s excluding more popular fare like Kingsman)

Furthermore, films released around Christmas get a bit lost I find. Regular film review slots are disrupted, and in the UK particularly, many TV channels save lots of good stuff for the Christmas period. Why go out to the cinema when Judi Dench and Dustin Hoffman are on BBC One?

The other day, Deadline published a piece about the chance of Grand Budapest Hotel doing well considering it was released in the US way back in March last year. It does seem that once upon a time, awards voters could be relied upon to actually remember further back than what they saw last week.

All I’m saying is that I cannot possibly see that long list of films above over the next week. I consider myself an above average film goer, but in reality that’s probably a maximum of one film every two weeks. As it is, distributors are leaving money on the table as far as I’m concerned.