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Freaky Director Christopher Landon Blasts Same-Day Streaming Releases

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the film industry to take drastic measures, such as allowing movies to be released on streaming while they premiere on the big screen. The method has not always worked out so well for everyone involved, with some filmmakers like "Freaky" director Christopher Landon calling for it to be stopped once and for all.

The need for putting titles in cinemas and on streaming services simultaneously seems like it should have rightfully dwindled. According to a report from CNBC in April 2022, many people probably thought the method would finally be discontinued when National Association of Theatre Owners CEO John Fithian declared at CinemaCon that the streaming theater day-and-date release strategy had officially expired. But apparently, not everyone saw the obituary, as some outlets still employ this practice. For instance, the horror flick "Halloween Ends" was released on Peacock at the same time it hit cinemas on October 14, 2022. The opening weekend numbers were lower than initially projected. The film has had the weakest start out of its two predecessors, with Deadline speculating on the possibility that the simultaneous streaming debut could be to blame.

And they aren't the only ones that believe the streaming theater release combo could very well be an unfortunate maneuver, as the filmmaker behind 2020's R-rated "Freaky" has called for a stop to this practice.

Freaky day-and-date release had devastating effects on Christopher Landon

While there are several reasons fans probably won't be getting a "Freaky 2" led by director Christopher Landon, one aspect that has to factor in is the poor box office returns the original had. The critically acclaimed feature, which was Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, raked in a measly $3.6 million for its opening weekend with a cumulative total of just $9 million at the domestic box office (via Box Office Mojo). Christopher Landon, who also directed the two "Happy Death Day" films, believes releasing "Freaky" on Peacock not only slaughtered its chances to be successful at the box office, but the experience had a significantly negative impact on everyone involved, especially the filmmaker himself.

After the dismal numbers for "Halloween Ends" started coming out, Landon vented his frustration with the entire ordeal on Twitter, saying, "Studios: stop gambling with filmmakers and their movies to try and prop up your fledgling streaming services. This happened to me on Freaky and it destroyed us... I begged the studio not to do this... At least the Halloween folks were made whole. We got hosed. So yeah... bitter subject. PTSD."

But Landon isn't the only filmmaker to speak out against the method, with big names like Christopher Nolan and Denis Villeneuve (via Variety) also voicing their disdain for the strategy. While many continue to wonder how long the streaming theater release combo will continue, the one thing that appears certain is the number of filmmakers who have either criticized or had bad experiences with the method continues to grow.