The summer movie season has come to a close for 2016, which means that the types of movies in theaters will be shifting soon. Big franchises like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Doctor Strange, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will still have their time to shine, but the rest of new releases will aim to get their name in awards consideration. One of the films that looked to have a chance a possibly snagging a nomination or two was A Monster Calls, the new movie from director J.A. Bayona. Throughout the first trailer, the emotional story and brief glimpses at the performances involved gave indications that the film could have a presence at next year's Oscars.
A Monster Calls had been slated to hit theaters on October 21st, with the likes of Liam Neeson and Felicity Jones attached in key roles. The movie should have done fairly well for itself on that release date, but Focus Features seems to believe the movie will be a bigger hit than they initially thought.
Deadline is reporting that A Monster Calls has left that October 21st release date. The movie will now have a limited release on December 23rd before expanding for a nationwide release on January 6, 2017. Should it have stayed in it's initial spot, the film would have gone head-to-head with Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. The hope from the studio is the push into prime Oscar season will give the movie better chances of earning nominations and possibly even winning some as well.
This is not the first movie of 2016 to push its release date back for more Oscar considerations, with The Founder doing the same thing not long ago. However, it has now put itself in a position to come out post Rogue One, and only a few days after Assassin's Creed and Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence's movie Passengers. This could hurt the box office performance of the movie should audiences go back for repeat business on previous releases, but the move indicates that the studio is perhaps not as worried about the box office numbers.
A Monster Calls should garner plenty of interest when it does hit theaters thanks to the talent involved in the cast, the fantastic visuals, and its intriguing story. If that is not enough to get fans in seats, it is worth remembering that Bayona will helm Jurassic World 2 next, so fans of that franchise should be interested in seeing what he can do. If he is able to bring a life-like level of CGI and a heartfelt story to both movies, audiences should be pleased with what is shown.
A Monster Calls opens in limited release December 23, 2016, before opening across the U.S. on January 6, 2017.