By MICHAEL GINGOLD
Originally set to open this month, the Russell Crowe-starring psychothriller is still positioned to lead the planned reopening of movie theaters.
Solstice Studios has announced that UNHINGED, originally placed on July 1 and then this Friday, will now see wide release August 21; AMC Entertainment and Regal Cinemas both recently announced their intentions to open their venues mid- to late next month. Directed by Derrick Borte from a script by Carl Ellsworth (RED EYE, DISTURBIA, the LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT remake), UNHINGED also stars Caren Pistorius, Gabriel Bateman, Jimmi Simpson and Austin P. McKenzie. The synopsis: “Rachel [Pistorius] is running late to work when she has an altercation at a traffic light with a stranger [Crowe] whose life has left him feeling powerless and invisible. Soon, Rachel finds herself and everyone she loves the target of a man who decides to make one last mark upon the world by teaching her a series of deadly lessons. What follows is a dangerous game of cat and mouse that proves you never know just how close you are to someone who is about to become unhinged.”
Solstice released the following statement: “While our release date plans for UNHINGED have changed a few times due to the dynamic nature of reopening movie theaters in the midst of a pandemic, our desire to give moviegoers a safe viewing experience, and our ongoing commitment to our exhibition partners–large and small–have remained unwavering.
“We know that theaters won’t be open in every city or county when we launch. However, we anticipate that the vast majority of movie theaters will be open and ready to meet what nationwide polls consistently show is substantial pent-up audience demand to see new movies in theaters.
“That said, no opening in this time period will be largely about the opening weekend. A significant number of additional theaters plan to open in our second week, and with a relatively light schedule of competitive films, the expectation is that UNHINGED will open more modestly but stay in theaters longer.
“Moviegoers have expressed a clear desire to return to theaters this summer (80% say they will definitely attend), while making it equally clear that they want the experience to be both comfortable and safe. Our partners in exhibition have answered this call by employing advanced sterilization and filtration methods, social distanced seating, no touch payment systems, and many other measures to prioritize safety over all else. Without their thorough commitment to safety, we would not be proceeding.
“John Fithian, President and CEO of the National Association of Theater Owners, stated, ‘On behalf of the U.S. exhibition community, I want to thank Solstice Studios for their commitment to bringing UNHINGED to theaters, and for doing their part to help reinvigorate the theatrical movie business. Movie theaters are able to safely reopen with thorough health and safety measures in many states across the country, but if studios wait until 100% of the theaters are open, it will be too late. We need supporters like Solstice Studios, and UNHINGED is the perfect film to kick off the opening of theaters to capture the last weeks of summer box office, followed by TENET on Labor Day weekend and a strong fall schedule.’ ”
UNHINGED has already opened in Germany, where it has been number one at the box office the past two weekends, and it expands to the UK, Australia and New Zealand this Thursday, July 30. The TRAIN TO BUSAN sequel PENINSULA also just shifted to August 21 for its U.S. debut, and Lionsgate currently has ANTEBELLUM set for that date as well.