In what is officially known in the trade as "counterprogramming the ass out of things", 20th Century Fox has pushed its reboot of Poltergeist into a Valentine's Day 2015 release date slot. The Wrap reports that the studio, which has also shifted its Nicholas Sparks adaptation The Longest Ride, will be hoping it sucks 50 Shades Of Grey into a parallel dimension filled with inner fiends and spank demons.
February 13, 2015 now offers American pundits a straight choice between Gil Kenan's creepy remake, Sam Taylor-Wood's 50 Shades and Paramount's Spongebob Squarepants 2. So you can either watch creepy kids, creepy sex gods or weirdo sea-creatures: your call.
Meanwhile, the latest Sparks tale shifts to Easter weekend, April 3, where it will take up arms against Insidious 3 in another romance / horror face-off.
It's an interesting insight into the long-term planning a studio employs to keep its balance sheet looking rosy. Fox will have high hopes that a combination of pre-awareness of the Tobe Hooper / Steven Spielberg 1982 Poltergeist, Valentine's Day fatigue and filmgoers' unquenchable appetite for horror-as-a-date-movie-option will lead to box-office payola. Don't be surprised to see its marketing campaign surf the post-Paranormal Activity wave, too.
Monster House man Kenan is directing the new take on the story of a family (led by Rosemarie DeWitt and Sam Rockwell) who move into what they think will be their dream home, only for it to turn into a horrific nightmare of malevolent spirits and – if writer David Lindsay-Abaire channels Tobe Hooper’s original – child endangerment. Sam Raimi lends his substantial horror cachet as producer.
US readers should coax a pen down from the ceiling and mark their diary for February 13, 2015.