The Shack has blinked.
The film version of William P. Young’s novel was originally set to come out on August 12 — but then, a few months ago, another movie based on a best-selling novel that features Jesus as a supporting character, i.e. Ben-Hur, claimed that date.
So now The Shack, which is currently in post-production, has moved out of the way of Ben-Hur and its stampeding chariots. Instead of coming out in the relatively slow last days of summer, The Shack will now come out on November 18 — the Friday before the American Thanksgiving, one of the busiest moviegoing times of the year.
This could be a sign that Lionsgate thinks it has a winner on its hands. Then again, the weekend before Thanksgiving has been dominated by young-adult franchises for the past several years — The Hunger Games for the last three years, and Twilight and Harry Potter for the five years before that — and the only other wide release currently scheduled for that day this year is the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. So The Shack could have some pretty stiff competition.
Then again, Lionsgate produced both Twilight and The Hunger Games, so if anyone knows how to release a film on that weekend, it would be seem to be them.
As ever, we shall just have to wait and see how it all pans out.
So the release schedule for this year’s Bible and/or Jesus movies now looks like so:
- January 5 — Full of Grace (came out on DVD and Digital HD)
- February 2 — Noah’s Ark (comes out on DVD)
- February 5 — Hail, Caesar! (contains a parody of 1950s Bible movies)
- February 19 — Risen
- March 8 — Of Kings and Prophets (premieres on ABC)
- March 11 — The Young Messiah
- March 14 — The Gospel of Mark (begins screening in British churches)
- May 13 — Last Days in the Desert
- August 12 — Ben-Hur
- November 18 — The Shack (not a Bible movie, but Jesus is one of the characters)
If I omitted any films from that list, please let me know in the comments. Thanks!