Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow’s 1991 action-adventure film Point Break was never a huge critical or financial success. That’s not to say that it wasn’t well received, but rather that the film dealt with surfers who rob banks to fund their surf trips and the FBI agent assigned to infiltrate their gang. As such, it fit into a particular niche that wasn’t quite grandiose enough to rise above its own inherent limitations.
Regardless, long before Keanu Reeves thrilled audiences with his career-defining portrayal of Neo in The Matrix trilogy, and only several years after Patrick Swayze delivered what was arguably his own career-defining performance with Dirty Dancing, the two actors joined forces for Point Break. The end result was a fun and eminently quotable film that has since morphed into a cult hit.
For fans of the original, news of a reboot was met with mixed feelings. Nothing could ever take the place of Patrick Swayze as Bodhi and Keanu Reeves as Johnny Utah. Together, they were Point Break. Like it or not however, Point Break has been rebooted and when the trailers began to appear some months ago, there was definitely some amazing, boundary-pushing adrenaline-junkie stunts on display. But as the film approaches its December 25 release date, Warner Bros. has reportedly pulled all future press screenings of the film.
According to Cinelinx‘s Jordan Maison, the studio cites “unforeseen circumstances“ as the reason for the cancellations. Warner Bros. is now in a rather dubious position. Press screenings typically don’t get canceled for positive reasons. No Good Deed, the Idris Elba-led thriller canceled its press screenings back in September of 2014 and went on to a lukewarm reception. AvP canceled its premiere and although the film scored average box-office returns, it was far from a hit. It took threats of actual terrorist attacks to cancel screenings of 2014’s The Interview, illustrating exactly how dire circumstances have to be before a studio will willingly not promote its film to the public.
Some insiders claim that the Warner Bros. decision is a result of the fact that the media screenings were occurring too close to Christmas, thereby creating a situation where industry observers will be out of town and unable to see the film. This sounds like a pretty flimsy excuse – it’s not as though Warner Bros. hasn’t long been aware of when and where the film will screen.
Still, despite its lack of press screenings, Point Break has managed to do reasonably well in China thus far, collecting $34 million after its initial 12 days in theaters. Action movies are typically well received internationally, so don’t stick a fork in this remake quite yet. At the very least, the film will still offer some phenomenal stunts on the big screen.
Warner Bros. will release Point Break on December 25th, 2015.