Getting Your Piece of the Christmas Movie Market

Congratulations! If you are reading this post then you made it through Christmas. Hopefully it was an enjoyable day filled with laughter and good company. But regardless, you can now relax on your couch stuffing yourself further with leftovers and leave the ‘healthy eating’ worrying until New Year’s Day. Unless you work in the cinemas, because then the rush starts tomorrow . . .


When it comes to releasing a movie, Boxing Day is one of the most popular times. Most people are on holidays and chances are someone in your extended family gave you some movie tickets for Christmas. So it sounds like a pretty good time to release a movie. But is it?

If everyone decides to release their big blockbusters on Boxing Day there will be so many new offerings that films will get reduced showings throughout the day and potential audiences will be spread far and wide between all the offerings. And that definitely isn’t good for anyone.

But something has happened . . .

Now, I’m not saying that all the film production houses came together to reserve a weekend, but they all definitely gave this issue some thought when scheduling their releases. As such there is very little overlap between the new film offerings each week removing any potential dissipating of the audience.

Let’s look at tomorrow’s releases:

  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • Frozen
  • Philomena
  • The Railway Man
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

You have offerings for children on school holidays (Frozen), young adults (The Hobbit), young adults too cool for The Hobbit (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), people looking for a bit of culture (The Railway Man) and the more mature members of society (Philomena). They may not satisfy every possible segment – but there is certainly very little overlap!

Especially in the popular marketplace of school holiday movies, all the new releases are placed nicely throughout the holidays providing families with an appropriate amount of time between two movies. That way the audience is doubled rather than halved – and many parents can breathe a sigh of release when their children start to get restless.

But the importance of this planning isn’t only relevant to the film industry. Every industry from snack foods to high-end theatre need to understand the importance of analysing their competitors. If someone else is bringing out a new snack food or a new Broadway show, then you probably don’t want to do the same thing on the same day because, like the children’s movies, you could be doubling your audience instead of halving it. Consumers can only remember so much information!

So who knows what is happening at these film production companies? Maybe they are getting together to discuss and reserve release dates? But if they aren’t, then it is a great coincidence that the scheduling ended up the way it did!