Universal already had May 13 this year reserved for a Blumhouse movie, and it turns out that’s Firestarter. The movie will go day-and-date on Peacock too as the streamer needs to up its paid subscriber count. Firestarter is the only wide theatrical release on May 13, and follows the weekend after Disney/Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
This is the fourth Universal theatrical release to go day-and-date on Peacock after The Boss Baby: Family Business, Blumhouse/Miramax’s Halloween Kills and this weekend’s romantic comedy Marry Me starring Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson. It’s technically five NBCUniversal movies going theatrical day-and-date on Peacock this year, if you count the upcoming release of Focus Features’ Sundance acquisition Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul, which has yet to set a date.
As of this minute, it’s questionable whether a Peacock availability of a movie shaves off a lot at the box office given the fact that the streamer has a small footprint. NBCUniversal revealed during an earnings call at the end of January that they ended 2021 with 9M paid subs.
“Within these 24.5 MAAs are over 9 million paid subscribers approaching $10 in paid ARPU, which includes the advertising,” Brian Roberts, Comcast chairman-CEO, said that call.
Of the above theatrical day-and-date movies, Halloween Kills was big out of the gate with a $49.4M start, a huge welcome to exhibition at the October box office. But the movie fell short of $100M with $92M. Marry Me is expected to open in the mid-teens this weekend.
Firestarter is directed by Keith Thomas (The Vigil), from a screenplay by Scott Teems (Halloween Kills) based on King’s classic novel. In the new take, a girl with extraordinary pyrokinetic powers fights to protect her family and herself from sinister forces that seek to capture and control her. For more than a decade, parents Andy (Zac Efron) and Vicky (Sydney Lemmon) have been on the run, desperate to hide their daughter Charlie (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) from a shadowy federal agency that wants to harness her unprecedented gift for creating fire into a weapon of mass destruction. Andy has taught Charlie how to defuse her power, which is triggered by anger or pain. But as Charlie turns 11, the fire becomes harder and harder to control. After an incident reveals the family’s location, a mysterious operative (Michael Greyeyes) is deployed to hunt down the family and seize Charlie once and for all. Charlie has other plans.
Pic also stars Kurtwood Smith, John Beasley, and Gloria Reuben. The Firestarter score is composed by John Carpenter and his fellow Halloween franchise composers Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies. Jason Blum produces for Blumhouse with Akiva Goldsman of Weed Road Pictures. EPs are Ryan Turek, Gregory Lessans, Scott Teems, Martha De Laurentiis, J.D. Lifshitz and Raphael Margules.