MacGruber Moves Release Dates To Battle Shrek
When a leaked test screening review back in December labeled MacGruber as “the best SNL film since Wayne’s World back in 1992”, I was skeptical. I love the SNL sketches but the trailer really seemed to fall flat. But maybe the reviewer was dead on. Universal Pictures at least, seems to think that MacGruber may have captured something. In what could be a show of confidence, they’ve bumped its release date from the April 23 into the middle of the most hotly contested movie month of the year, on May 21st.
Just to put that in perspective, by moving it to May they’re choosing to go up against Shrek Forever After. Even the previous Shrek movie Shrek the Third, which was widely regarded as a cinematic blight, had an opening weekend of $121 million. Shrek Forever After is bound to open at somewhere around the $100 million mark. And yet Universal has willingly chosen to go toe to toe with it. Does Universal think MacGruber can defeat Shrek? Could MacGruber really be that good? Doesn’t even matter? Even if Shrek 4 sucks it’s going to absolutely destroy it. It’s Shrek. No matter how much we might hate it, no matter how sick we all are of it, that Ogre’s dynamite.
There’s an alternative possibility here, one which is far less rosy. On April 23rd, MacGruber would have been up against The Losers. That film is hardly a juggernaut and it’s easy to envision a fair fight between the two. The big difference here is that as an action movie, The Losers is probably geared towards precisely the same audience as MacGruber. Shrek Forever After on the other hand, is a family movie and caters primarily to a different crowd. So it’s possible that Universal could be hoping for some sort of second place finish against Shrek using counter-programming, rather than winning a contested first place against a weaker movie in The Losers. That might seem like a smart move except for one, small detail: Counter-programming almost never works. MacGruber, you’re no Mamma Mia.
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