As Lainey mentioned, I don’t think anything opening on December 18 or December 25—Christmas falls on a Friday this year, which means the holiday weekend will be extra-huge box office—has any chance of competing with New New Star Wars. The Oscar-bait movies have an out, though, because they can just open in limited release, thus saving face—and minimizing some distribution expenses—and go wide in January, after the Star Wars dust has settled. But the populist movies opening at the same time are basically just lambs being led to slaughter.
Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg’s reunion movie, Daddy’s Home—Christ that TITLE—looks f*cking terrible to being with, but it opens, as of right now, on Christmas Day, one week after New New Star Wars, which will undoubtedly still be going strong. (Amy Poehler and Tina Fey’s Sisters is actually opening directly opposite Star Wars on December 18 in what must be taken as an execution by Universal—they’re sending it there specifically to die.) There’s a new trailer for Daddy’s Home which doesn’t make a good case for this movie—even without the Star Wars thing, this just looks plain bad. I’m a big Will Ferrell fan, but just no, dude. No.
The only thing that can save the wide releases from being obliterated under the weight of the Force is overflow. People go to the theater but Star Wars is all sold out—which will happen—so they get a ticket to the next thing showing. Once upon a time you count on overflow for healthy returns. But the ease of digital projection means that theater managers can add screenings on the fly—if Star Wars sells out for a day, bump a couple screenings of other movies and shift those screens to Star Wars, too. What we’re going to see in December is a big pack of movies fighting over Skywalker scraps on Christmas Day.