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Despite the fact that some truly stellar movies have been coming out since January, the 2014 box office is severely struggling - and the next big holiday on the calendar doesn't look like it will be helping things in the slightest. In fact, analysts are saying that this Halloween may be downright horrific for the movie industry.
Variety is saying that the movie industry may want to start bracing itself for a rough Halloween, and a big part of that is simply because October 31st happens to fall on a Friday this year - one of the most popular days of the week for theater-going. While there certainly will be some people who wish to spend the night in a darkened theater, most will presumably be seeking entertainment in many other capacities, be it trick 'r treating or costume parties.
Weirdly, the trade notes that studios have actually been planning ahead when it comes to this sinkhole in the schedule, and having been planning accordingly by releasing their horror movies earlier in the month. Warner Bros. absolutely cleaned up when they sent Annabelle to theaters on October 3rd, the film having made $166 million worldwide to date, and Blumhouse Productions/Orion Pictures sent The Town That Dreaded Sundown into limited release last week. Universal Pictures has also been ahead of the game on two fronts, having put out Dracula Untold earlier this month and releasing Ouija this Friday.
Of course, this has also created a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts, because now there really aren't any movies coming out during Halloween that will draw large audiences to movie theaters. There are currently no major studio releases set to come out next weekend, and horror movies like ABCs of Death 2 and Horns will only be available in select markets. The only wide releases will be Nightcrawler with Jake Gyllenhaal and Before I Go To Sleep with Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong, Neither are exactly going to blow the doors off of anywhere (even if the former is getting quite a good bit of buzz).
It was well publicized a couple of months ago that 2014's summer at the domestic box office was absolutely miserable - despite some big hits like Guardians of the Galaxy and X-Men: Days of Future Past - and a part of that was the fact that one of the big holidays during that season was stuck on a weekend as well. Like Halloween, July 4th was on a Friday this year, and as a result audiences wound up watching fireworks instead of going to the movies. In fact, Variety says it "became the worst box office weekend for the industry since 1987." Hopefully Halloween won't be following in its footsteps.