For the longest time, in movie terms, the start of a new year was a “dumping ground”. The period of time where studios pushed out movies they didn’t really thin stood to make much money. With crowded holiday leftovers and people scrambling to see awards contenders, that makes sense. Or at least that used to be the case. Now, studios seem to be shifting & coveting the spot. At least that’s the indication with the announcement that the Denzel Washington & Rami Malek film, The Little Things, just nabbed itself a January 2021 release slot.
In case you don’t remember what that film is about, here’s a synopsis courtesy of Deadline:
“Deke (Washington), a burnt-out Kern County, CA deputy sheriff who teams with Baxter (Malek), a crack LASD detective, to nab a serial killer. Deke’s nose for the “little things” proves eerily accurate, but his willingness to circumvent the rules embroils Baxter in a soul-shattering dilemma. Meanwhile, Deke must wrestle with a dark secret from his past.”
Take one look at some box office receipts from 2019 & 2020 and you’d easily understand this somewhat monumental change in mindset. Smaller genre films, often operating on a small budget, have made a meal recently of early year releasing. Escape Room made $57 mil in the US alone. Glass made $111 mil in the US. Turning and eye to this year, you see some AAA starting to notice the trend. Bad Boys For Life has hauled in $193 mil, so far. Again, that’s just in the US. Overseas these movie rack in even more, but with sporadic releases there, we’ll chuck it aside. Better yet, those movies all did fairly well review wise too. Dispelling the notion that bad movies specifically get released in this window.
As for The Little Things, signs point to this being a strategic move. One that will allow the film to bring in as much money as it can, without threat of a superhero flick or tentpole blockbuster crowding the space. A film by the bubble-wrapped safety version of a film director John Lee Hancock, with 3 Oscar winners (Washington, Malek & Jared Leto) stands poised to garner a fair bit of attention. Fingers crossed it’s good, too.
Do you think January is a bad time to release a new movie? What months do you think are too crowded to see a film? What is the dark secret Washington’s character has to deal with and why is it obviously that he’s falsified evidence to get a conviction? Share your thoughts with us in the space below. We’ll keep an eye out for all news concerning The Little Things, as it slowly comes trickling in. January is a far far ways away.