IN a bid to claim the best spot, Hollywood studios have, particularly within the last few years, begun to map out their release schedules months if not years in advance.
And while it makes complete sense for studios to get ahead of the game, premature scheduling comes at a cost, usually to the film.
In a number of instances over the past few years, where sequels to films that haven’t even been released yet are announced, issues erupt within the production.
The Hunger Games, for example, was released in March 2012, cementing itself as a box office winner. Lionsgate quickly announced the sequel for November the following year.
Now that’s an extremely quick turnaround for a film as big and costly as Catching Fire. And not long after the first film had been released, director Gary Ross quit the sequel, explaining that the release pattern would not allow him ample time to do his job to the best of his ability.
This has happened time and time again. But that’s not all. Scheduling sequels early, as Sony found with the Amazing Spider-Man films, can fall on its head.
After the release of The Amazing Spider-Man, Sony jumped the gun, not only announcing The Amazing Spider-Man 2, pictured, but also two spin-offs. This backfired when The Amazing Spider-Man bombed, forcing Sony to – very much in the public eye – change their plans. They agreed terms with Marvel and a new Spider-Man, unconnected to either of the previous two series, will be released in 2017.
It seems silly to think Hollywood will learn anything from their mistakes. Scheduling films for the future looks to be only in its infancy. But they should maybe stop being so concerned about bagging the best release date and concentrate on making good films. Sequels will come when the time is right.