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Theatrical Release Date For Angel's Upcoming Sci-fi "The Shift" Announced: Is This Good News for the Film?

Liz Tabish in The Shift trailer, credit, Angel Studios

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The release date for the first theatrical original film release by Angel Studios’, The Shift, is now set for December 1st. Deadline reports on a press release from Angel Studios that the original sci-fi film, “a bold project that defies labels and is unlike anything in the market” will finally be setting its tent stakes down on the early December date. Deadline’s story is here.

See the trailer here.

Star-studded cast Neal McDonough, Liz Tabish, Sean Astin, Rose Reid, Paras Patel, & Kristoffer Polaha, may be having a blast in this film, but is that a proper date to release a film of this description? Why December 1st? What other films have come out and have done well on a date like this? Films like Disney’s Frozen, WB’s Harry Potter, many of the James Bond films, Knives Out, the detective tale by Rian Johnson, The Hunger Games franchise, Guillermo Del Toro’s The Shape of Water, and many others of this kind can be found on this date or similar date. These are all of the highest quality, often awards-worthy, smart, and sometimes fantasy or sci-fi films.

My feeling on this follows the classic understanding of the film release seasons, which has remained this way for decades (with only a few varied considerations). Awards season fare and contemplative work fit well in the December season slate. And it often gets ever more unconventional as the winter season goes from December to February. While it’s true that a “dumping ground” for Hollywood (not the best money makers) get to come in on January & February, this is far different than a December release. December is often seen as the place for Hollywood’s highest quality of work, and most artistic (or mythically profound) work in the market. Christmas is a time of mystery, family, beauty, and prestige fare. The prestige films are what gives Hollywood its tinsel, and makes the star system function. At least it’s supposed to work that way, but lately Hollywood doesn’t have much of a star system, but that’s another discussion for another day.

So, what does this mean?

Angel has recognized The Shift as a potential awards film to go toe-to-toe with Hollywood’s best work. It may also have a family-friendly vibe that is authentic and warmhearted, or it may be mysterious and mythical in it’s themes.

Often, Christmas themed films come out for faith-based or family-friendly audiences too. This warmhearted family vibe is the other end of the spectrum in the winter season, and this is the commercial element of the winter season.

This is great news for this film. Even better, this film could have easily been delayed a month or two to refine it in post, but (as previously indicated) had it been a January or February release, it would have been a statement that projects a lack of confidence in the film (or a subtle admission of reduced quality). So it is very comforting to know that this film meets the high quality that a December release demands.

This is exactly what Angel did with the Sound of Freedom this summer. They went with their gut and released a risky film at the very tip-top of the commercial season for the year, and this gamble paid off exponentially. It is still paying off in the International markets as we speak.

But while the summer is the prime time to make profits commercially, winter is the prime time to win awards. What awards will The Shift win, considering it is not a Hollywood film? Likely none, except Angel’s own Illuminate Awards, and possibly a faith-based festival award, such as MovieGuide or K-Love Awards, but this also makes a statement to Hollywood. “Your awards are becoming less and less relevant.” I consider this result very likely due to three factors: the release date, the swiftly rising reputation that Angel is earning, and the quality that I’m seeing in the promo material for The Shift.

Watch this trailer unveiling livestream to learn a lot more.

Go here to see more about The Shift, and to buy tickets when the time comes, .

Did you enjoy learning about The Shift and its new release date? Have you been looking forward to The Shift? Let us know on our social media, or comment down below (with subscription).