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2012 brought us the Snow White showdown between Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman. Then, 2013 marked the face-off between White House under siege thrillers Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down. Let it be set down that 2014 will be the year of Hercules, wherein Renny Harlin's Hercules: The Legend Begins will do box office battle with Brett Ratner's Hercules. The former will star Twilight's Kellan Lutz as the legendary hero, while the latter will have box office behemoth Dwayne Johnson in the title role. But star power aside, Hercules: The Legend Begins might just have the edge on its competition, as its bumping up its release schedule to hit theaters a full seven months before its competitor.
Box Office Mojo reveals Hercules: The Legend Begins has shifted its release date from February 7th, 2014 to January 10th, 2014. Lionsgate hasn't offered an explanation for the month-earlier release date. But let's look at how the action-adventure's opening weekend contenders have changed in wake of this move.
Had Hercules: The Legend Begins opened on February 7th, as originally intended, it would have come out against the animated adventure The Lego Movie and the George Clooney-directed docudrama The Monuments Men. The second of these recently did a release date dance of its own, moving from December 18th, 2013 to the spring of 2014. In light of Hercules: The Legend Begins's opening day shuffle, it seems Lionsgate didn't want to risk facing off with a feature that boasts such stars as Matt Damon, George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, and Bill Murray. Probably for the best.
Hercules: The Legend Begins will be the only wide release hitting theaters on its newly changed opening day. A slate of limited release features, like The Truth About Emanuel, Dumbbells and Banshee Chapter will be unveiled. But none of these can offer anything in the way of serious competition against this action-packed epic centered on a mythic demigod.
But will this uncontested head start to hit the hearts and minds of moviegoers prove a crucial move for Hercules: The Legend Begins? Or will Ratner's Hercules outperform it, hitting with a major star in the thick of summer spectacle? These are questions whose answers are written in the stars of 2014. In the mean time, check out the teaser trailer for Hercules: The Legend Begins.