I wish A24 had opened “The Witch” in October. This masterful horror movie is eerily autumnal, and could have been a prime time Halloween release. But the chilly dead of winter will have to do, as A24 will be releasing the film, which they bought in Sundance, on February 26, 2016.
Horror movies do fare well in the winter as alternative programming to the then-tired Oscar releases, and the sludge of first quarter studio chow.
A24 will have their hands tied anyway in the fall as the indie studio launches its first major Oscar push for Toronto audience award winner “Room,” which has many strong shots. They will also be putting summer openers “Amy” and “The End of the Tour” back in our heads for awards season. Clearly A24 wants to take its time crafting the perfect marketing campaign for “The Witch.”
As The Wrap notes, this elegantly understated chiller will share its opening weekend with Timur Bekmambetov‘s action epic “Ben-Hur,” from MGM and Paramount. But these are not the same audiences.
Per A24’s pact with DirecTV, “The Witch” will be available to stream on the cabler shortly before theatrical release.