Have you ever wondered why Hollywood would have one movie you’re dying to see open on the same day as another movie you’re equally dying to see? It probably happens more often than you think during the summer and holiday season. And unless you are a truly hardcore moviegoer (and many of you out there are), chances are you’ll only see one of the two that weekend. That’s why the release date game is just as important to movie studios as the right trailer, poster or TV spot. It doesn’t matter how good your film is, if you have the wrong release date you’re hoping for word of mouth to save the day.
Release dates are also a chess match. One studio will keep a film on one date in hope of scaring another movie off it. Moreover, when one studio announces that a highly anticipated film won’t make a previously announced opening (“Batman vs. Superman” most recently), another film will quickly jump on its date (in the previous case, “Ant-Man”). Still, movie executives are only human and sometimes they take big gambles that don’t always benefit their customers, i.e, you, the moviegoer, let alone the filmmakers and producers who have worked for years to get these pictures in theaters.
With that in mind, we’ve found nine scary opening weekend or holiday frame box office battles to ponder including someone staking a claim against J.J. Abrams’ new “Star Wars” flick (oh, my). Check out each showdown in the embedded gallery below and let us know which ones you’d pick in the poll on each slide.