First, it was Universal pivoting its Valentine’s Day film MARRY ME to day-and-date with Peacock. Then yesterday, Sony pushed two of its high-profile winter films out a few months. AMBULANCE got moved from February 18th to April 8th despite the fact that just this week, Sony released a poster that very clearly states its opening in February.
To make room for AMBULANCE, Sony shifted BULLET TRAIN off its April date and relocated it to the summer.
Now comes word that STX has pushed out two of its upcoming releases. Most notably, STX moved OPERATION FORTUNE from January to March 18th. At least STX had the foresight to list the film as “coming soon” on its recently released poster.
There’s no doubt that the soft opening for WEST SIDE STORY combined with the rise of Omicron has spooked the studios. WEST failed to draw a broad audience; meanwhile, there are still many unknowns about the virulence of Omicron and the effectiveness of current vaccines.
With RUSE moving to March, that means there are only four big-studio wide releases scheduled for January.
If in the next few weeks, moviegoers continue to go to the theaters the way they did during the rise of the Delta variant when FREE GUY, SHANG-CHI AND THE TEN RINGS and VENOM: PREPARE FOR CARNAGE were released, then these four films could reap the rewards of being big fish in a very small pond.