Blockbuster Movie Showdown: Release Date Madness
Which studio will blink first?
'The Hobbit: There and Back Again' vs. 'Night at the Museum 3'
Release date: Dec. 17, 2014
Longview Winner: "The Hobbit: There And Back Again"
Longview Loser: "Night at the Museum 3"
Should either film move off the date: Yes, this is not a good date for "Night at the Museum 3."
Lowdown: It's unclear what 20th Century Fox is thinking here. They want a headstart on the Christmas week box office, but are going up against the very four quadrant and, yes, family friendly "The Hobbit: There and Back Again." "The Hobbit" films may not have opened at the level of the last two "Lord of the Rings" pictures, but there is a hardcore fan base and even the disappointing "The Desolation of Smaug" opened to $73 million. The marketplace can expand in the summer and holiday seasons, but it can't expand that much. Plus, why Sony Pictures is also throwing its "Annie" remake on this same date is somewhat head scratching. Both Fox and Sony must think the "Hobbit" is vulnerable, but it is the last Peter Jackson Middle Earth film and there is no way Warner Bros. and MGM aren't going to milk that for all its worth.