Popular culture loves telling stories about vampires and werewolves crossing paths. Traditionally seen as enemies, the concept has been explored in recent years in everything from the Twilight series to Hemlock Grove. Years before either property sank their teeth and claws into audiences, however, the Underworld franchise modernized the concept with its stylized depiction of an endless war between two of moviedom's most enduring boogeymen.
It’s been four years since the last foray into the Kate Beckinsale-led franchise last hit theaters with Underworld: Awakening. While that leaves plenty of room for doubt as to whether or not the series has any momentum left to capitalize on, such a question hasn’t stopped producers from moving full speed ahead with the fifth entry into the franchise, Underworld: Blood Wars. Originally set for release this fall, those exciting for the new movie are in for some bad news, according to a new release schedule unveiled today.
Box Office Mojo offered an update on the release for the movie, which revealed that the film has been pushed back from October 2016 to early 2017. There was no indication as to why the film was rescheduled, but such moves inevitably stir up questions of problems with regard to the final product.
January and February are traditionally poor times for movies to hit theaters and are often referred to as “dump months” by industry insiders, a term reflecting the trend that studios typically release films with lower expectations during this period. Though there have been some instances in recent years of successful films coming out during these months -- most notably Deadpool and The Lego Movie -- the success of those films hasn't quite lifted the stigma from early-in-the-year release dates.
Especially disconcerting is the fact that film was pushed back from its original October release date. Vampires and werewolves are a thematic fit for the month of Halloween, and studios often release their horror films during that month to capitalize on the holiday. While it could be that the movie simply needs more time for completion, as of yet no word has been giving to indicate that’s the case. Then again, there's history to consider, as all but the first Underworld film premiered in January, with each installment earning somewhere in low to mid-$20M range in its first weekend. Given that, it could be the studio is just sticking to a release formula with a proven track record.
Still, the move is sure to be a disappointment for fans anticipating the film’s release this October. It’s been four years, however, so a few more months won’t hurt too bad, and besides, the dedicated Underworld fans are sure to be willing to brave the harsh elements of winter for another go at the franchise. We’ll keep you posted on any news that develops between now and then.
Underworld: Blood Wars is currently set for release on January 6, 2017.
Source: Box Office Mojo