Additionally, the studios have truly made an art out of not stepping on each other’s toes. Generally, when two films that are similar in theme or feature the same star suddenly find themselves scheduled to open on the same Friday, one of the studios will budge and move to another date. This ultimately is best for everyone involved, as each weekend brings a new option for different types of moviegoers without overcrowding the marketplace. There could be no better example than this past weekend, which saw four movies open with more than $20 million in ticket sales (The Vow, Safe House, Journey 2, Star Wars: Episode I 3D). This is a truly staggering testament to the benefits of studios playing it smart and counter-programming each other.
For example, This Means War, the romantic-action-comedy starring Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, and Tom Hardy, abandoned its original plan to open on Valentine’s Day after realizing that it would have to directly compete with The Vow, which proved to be a wise decision. The Vow sold more tickets yesterday than any film ever has on a Valentine’s weekday. Now, This Means War can make its entrance this Friday with some of the excitement over The Vow having already died down. If the studios continue to play it safe, and play nice, 2012 could be a particularly great year for the film industry.
– Stephen Jannise, Film Program Director