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Things We Saw Today: ‘Freaky’ Director Trashes ‘Halloween Ends’ Hybrid Release

Plus 'Trigun Stampede', 'Halloween Ends', and more!

laurie and michael in Halloween Ends

‘Halloween Ends’ premiered this weekend like many post-pandemic films did, with a simultaneous theatrical and SVOD release. The film, which hit theaters and Peacock, gives fans their choice of how and when to watch, but many are critical of the hybrid release model. ‘Freaky’ director Christopher Landon slammed the release model on Twitter, saying that a same-day SVOD release cuts into the box office profits of the film. ‘Freaky’ was released on SVOD less than a month after it hit theaters. Landon tweeted, “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?”

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He ended his thread by writing, “Dear studios: stop trying to suck two dicks at the same time. Honor the sanctity of the theatrical experience. End rant.” And Landon has a point: Halloween Ends is on track to gross $43.3 million this weekend. Halloween Kills (2021), which featured the same release model, grossed $49.4 million its opening weekend. Meanwhile, the pre-pandemic Halloween (2018) brought in $76.2 million, which broke records at the time.

Many directors have criticized studios for releasing films simultaneously on streaming. Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight trilogy) told The Hollywood Reporter, “Some of our industry’s biggest filmmakers and most important movie stars went to bed the night before thinking they were working for the greatest movie studio and woke up to find out they were working for the worst streaming service.” 

The pandemic has irrevocably altered the way audiences consume media, and while big tentpole films have managed to stay afloat at the box office, smaller non-franchise films have struggled to make money (see Bros). And while SVOD same day releases give more folks the opportunity to watch a film, it will invariably cut into the domestic gross. It’s a problem with no clear solution, and the ones who seem to be paying the price are the filmmakers, cast and crew.

(featured image: Universal Pictures)

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Happy spooky Saturday, Mary Suevians!

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.

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