Much ado has been made about how crazy things will be in the Summer Movie Season of 2015 (and with good reason), yet it's fair to note that Summer 2014 isn't exactly going to be slim pickings either. Next year, for example, the Weinstein Company will offer an end-of-summer alternate option to the superhero films, sequels and big action star romps, by releasing the long-awaited young adult sci-fi dramatic novel adaptation, The Giver.
Elsewhere, Universal has done some reshuffling of its release schedule and decided to shift Minions - a spinoff for the Despicable Me franchise (teased in the credits of Despicable Me 2) - from the 2014 Winter Holiday frame and delay it by six months - thus allowing the 3D animated flick to compete in the crowded race that will be Summer 2015.
Minions - from Despicable Me 1&2 co-director Pierre Coffin and screenwriter Brian Lynch (Hop) - will now hit theaters on July 10th, 2015, resulting in the untitled new project from Illumination Entertainment (previously set for July 3rd that year) being pushed back to 2016. The Despicable Me sequel cleaned up at the box office this year ($854 million worldwide), so the Minions spinoff has the muscle needed to square off against the tentpoles of 2015. Plus, it won't have to be half-Minions flick, half-Despicable Me installment (unlike this year's sequel), which ought to please the many fans of the eponymous diminutive yellow critters.
As it stands, Minions will have the juice box crowd to itself when it faces off with the second week of the Terminator reboot - two weeks before The Smurfs 3 is unleashed. That date should benefit the animated feature more than its original December 2014 date, where Minions would have opened against the third Hobbit movie, followed a week later by a pair of musicals that are, likewise, gunning for attention from the family crowd (Annie (2014) and Disney's Into the Woods).
The Giver, by comparison, is far less action-oriented than the other big YA sci-fia/alternate society adaptations (and potential beginnings to new franchises) that are releasing in 2014 - The Maze Runner and Divergent - but its newly-set August 15th, 2014 date will give it distance from those films and let it fill the demand for new entertainment from moviegoers who aren't interested in the big title premiering that weekend: The Expendables 3.
Here is the official synopsis for The Giver (based on Lois Lowry's novel):
Set in a distant future, the story tells of a society in which the entire range of human emotion has been eradicated by removing any trace of history. Only one individual in the society -- called "the Giver" -- is tasked with remembering the past in case it becomes necessary to make use of it. A twelve year-old boy, Jonas, is tasked to become the next Giver in line and has his whole world thrown into question when he begins tutelage with the previous, elderly Giver.
The Giver is being directed by Phillip Noyce (Salt) and scripted by Vadim Perelman (House of Sand and Fog), with a cast that includes prestigious award-winners Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep alongside Alexander Skarsgård (True Blood), Brenton Thwaites (Maleficent) and Odeya Rush (The Odd Life of Timothy Green). The Giver shouldn't be the critical failure that was this year's The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (another YA movie adaptation that opened in mid-August), but the pedigree of talent involved doesn't guarantee a huge box office turnout, either.
Then again, Lee Daniels' The Butler found a sizable audience this past August (as dramtical counter-programming to the Summer blockbusters). Similarly, people might be more interested in seeing The Giver - a meditative and introspective dystopian drama - after months of genre sequels like The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Fast & Furious 7 and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (in addition to reboots like Godzilla and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).
The Giver opens in U.S. theaters on August 15th, 2014.
Minions arrives in theaters on July 10th, 2015.
Source: Box Office Mojo