Fans of Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects, have been eagerly anticipating the release of his new film 31, which appears to be a “return to form” for the horror director. After experimenting with Hollywood-remakes (Halloween and Halloween 2) and the satanic-witch tale Lords of Salem, many fans expected 31 to tread the same ground as his first two gore-drenched films. While the cinematic quality will be determined later by fans and critics, Zombie’s film will be receiving a special Fathom Event release on September 1st, 2016 instead of the wide release promised for September 16th. Fathom Events usually handles special events and re-issues in theaters nation-wide, such as the recent two day run of the animated The Killing Joke and the upcoming return of the Shining to theaters in October.
Why the sudden change? 31 began mysteriously dropping from online theater schedules after the SDCC reveal that the Woods (which is also scheduled for a September 16th release) was in actuality a sequel to The Blair Witch. Shortly after The Woods was renamed and identified as a Blair Witch property, it appears that the distributors (Saban Films) were scared off of the date. This change is understandable; placing two horror properties (especially one with such mainstream recognition as Blair Witch) against each other in the fall is not a sound financial strategy. With an already busy fall for horror film weekends, Saban films may have decided to release 31 on a much more limited scale (such as Lords of Salem’s 354 screen debut) on a different date, or only through this special one-night feature.
While a standard google search will display the September 16th date (and not the Fathom event date), Fandango does list both dates, but tickets are only available for the special “one night only” event. It is unclear if 31 will indeed get the promised short theatrical run, so the one guaranteed place to see the film may be in the form of the Fathom Event on September 1st.
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