Rushing of movie production
"You can't rush art."— Geri, Toy Story 2
Movie Production Rushing (also known as Christmas Rushing) refers to when a movie is rushed into production to coincide with a holiday or another event (such as Christmas, hence the term). Because of this some films have been rushed, giving it a troubled production and also making the movie unfinished, which gives it a bad reception from critics and reviewers.
For more information about Christmas Rushing on TV Tropes, click here.
- Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem was timed to be released in 2007 on Christmas Day, and had an appropriately-themed marketing campaign ("This Christmas, there will be no peace on earth"). In addition, the film was not screened for critics, and debuted to negative reviews and box office apathy.
- Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III began production in August 1989 in order to make a November 3rd release date (trailers shot before the film was delayed were shipped out with that date before prints of A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child). However, despite production finishing just days before the original date, issues with the MPAA forced a delay to January 1990 and the film flopped due to said delays and the cuts to get an R-rating being very obvious.
- Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers was rushed through production to be released in time for Halloween the year after Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers. As a result, shooting started without a completed script, and numerous re-writes, cuts and changes were made on the fly during production.
- The Son of Kong was put into production immediately after the success of King Kong (1933). Son of Kong was released only nine months after the original and is one of the few Hollywood sequels to be released in the same year as its predecessor. Needless to say, Son of Kong is nowhere near as acclaimed or poplar as the original film.
- Thomas and the Magic Railroad left out Edward, due to the fact that they couldn't finish the character's model on time due to time constraints. Poor Britt Allcroft ended up listening to the test audiences, and as a result, the project ended up becoming a box-office failure anyway, causing her to resign her own company in 2000.
- M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender is infamous for having been converted to 3D at the very last minute, just three months before the movie came out. Coupled with most of the movie's already-existing issues due to it being rushed for a July 2 deadline, it resulted in the mess we know today.
- To add insult to injury, the Last Airbender movie novelization has over twenty differences from the final film.
- Justice League notoriously suffered from a large amount of production issues and studio interference from Warner Bros., which peaked when the director Zack Snyder had to step down from the project due to a family tragedy (some sources indicate that he had already been fired beforehand). Joss Whedon was brought in to make a large amount of reshoots and rewrites. However, at that time, the movie was already very close to its release date, so all the reshoots had to be rushed. Both Whedon and Snyder stated that they urged Warner Bros. to delay the movie so the reshoots could be given more time, but the requests were rejected. The final product was a very inconsistent and poorly-made movie that didn't resemble the movie initially promised at all and many CGI effects looked very cheap and unpolished.
- Batman & Robin's production started as soon as Batman Forever was released. This led to many issues such as Val Kilmer being busy with The Saint, forcing Warner Bros. to replace him with George Clooney.
- Star Trek: The Motion Picture had an absolutely non-negotiable December 1979 release date, and was still being edited and re-edited up to the very day it was due to premiere. For the Director's Edition in 2001, director Robert Wise stated that they were simply completing a movie that had gone unfinished for decades.
- Jaws: The Revenge was rushed into production (and had a very rushed pre-production) to meet the Summer 1987 deadline. Universal was in a financial rough patch after a disastrous slate of films during 1986, headlined by Howard the Duck. CEO Sid Sheinberg, who noted the strong box office of Jaws 3D despite tepid reviews, ordered a new Jaws film fast-tracked into production to hopefully give a boost to the company's financial position. The director was given ten months from pre-production to release date.
- Godzilla (1998) was fast tracked with just a year long production cycle, in part because Roland Emmerich promised the studio he could have it done by the summer of '98. This contributes largely to his own misfeelings about the movie, thinking they didn't fully develop Godzilla as a character and that contributed to its' lackluster reception.
- Cats was rushed to be released just before Christmas, which is resulted in unsatisfactory or downright incomplete visual effects such as Judi Dench's human hand being visible in one shot. This prompted the studio and the director to rerelease the film to correct some of these issues, an unprecedented move for a movie so soon after its initial release.
- The Rise of Skywalker: There are reports that the production team lost three months of time to work on the film and ended up having to rush it through since Disney insisted on the December 20th release date. This was later given credence with editor Maryann Brandon saying the film's editing process was a rush job that affected the entire production.
- Barney's Great Adventure was completed in just one month, resulting in bad CGI and lots of other goofs found in the movie.
- Tomorrow Never Dies was given a release date with no pre-production work completed (and intended to coincide with the release of the company's public stock offering) and no finished script. Production was so rushed that Jonathan Pryce and Teri Hatcher were cast days before filming began and the script was constantly being rewritten.
- Toy Story 2 was unexpectedly given a November 1999 theatrical release date after Pixar fashioned it as a Direct to Video movie. Horrified, Pixar asked and was granted permission to completely redo the film from scratch to make it more suitable for the silver screen. However, Disney refused to budge on the date, resulting in what is usually a year's work of production being crammed into nine months. The grueling workload and mental toll it took on the animators led to Pixar splitting its animators up into teams so that it would reduce risk of crunch. It should be noted that John Lasseter was not supposed to be involved in the film's production, as he was planning to take a break after directing A Bug's Life, but agreed to join once he heard just how bad things were going with the film. Upon released, the film became critical and commercial success.
- Street Fighter: Even though filming was way behind schedule, the executives wouldn't delay the movie for fear of missing its lucrative December release date. This is at least in part because the accompanying action figures by Hasbro were due to hit shelves on Black Friday, meaning the movie had to come out just a few weeks later.
- Muppets from Space was planned for release in early 2000, but Sony Pictures wanted it to be part of their summer 1999 lineup, which only had Big Daddy as their other headliner. The decision ended up being made so late that the advertising budget was slashed, which may explain the film's poor box office numbers.
- Last Action Hero was rushed to open for the 1993 big summer movie season, to the point that post-production was only finished a few weeks before its initial release because early test screenings went much worse than expected, requiring reshoots. To make matters worse Columbia Pictures execs refused to change the release date under any circumstances, even when it became clear that Universal's Jurassic Park was scheduled to open the weekend before their film, figuring that the latest Arnold Schwarzenegger movie could easily draw audiences away from it in its second weekend. Instead, Jurassic Park proved too big to dethrone that soon.
- Ghostbusters (1984) had an early script treatment by Dan Aykroyd, Ivan Reitman saw potential but wanted it more grounded and suggested a massive rewrite. From there he pitched the idea to Columbia Pictures, who really like working with him and gave it the greenlight but set a due date 13 months away without a page of a shooting script. Reitman, Aykroyd and Harold Ramis locked themselves in a cabin for two weeks to put together something plausible, but they were storyboarding and rewriting all through production to make their deadline.
- Little Shop of Horrors has earned recognition for having the shortest production schedule of any major motion picture. Its entire production was squeezed into the last week of December, 1959, with all photography completed within 48 hours. The most likely story for this schedule is that Roger Corman wanted to get one more movie made before a new law on actors' residuals went into effect in the new year.
- Earwig and the Witch was criticized for having a bland mediocre CGI effects, bad character development, small locations, unfinished story, etc by releasing in the end of 2020.
- Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer's parody movies were made in less than three months, especially Meet the Spartans which was completed in a week according to it's IMDb page, resulting in numerous issues such as the awful editing, cheaply made CGI and visual effects, terrible production values, and several continuity errors.
- Hellraiser: Revelations was filmed in 11 days and post-production took about three weeks due to The Weinstein Company wanting to keep the rights to the Hellraiser franchise in order to release a planned remake of the first film. It is considered the worst movie in the Hellraiser franchise and Clive Barker publicly disowned the film.
- Probably the grandfather of all rushed productions was the 1948 film The Babe Ruth Story, a biopic of the famous titular baseball player, who was rushed so it could be premiered while its subject was still alive, as it was publicly known that Ruth was dying of cancer at the time. They managed to premiere it less than a month before Ruth's death, with the man himself present in the premiere screening.
- The Fantastic Four was quickly put in production before the rights expired which ended up not being released at all with bootleg copies being the only way to watch it.
- Rumble is a rather strange example as the intention to release the film by Christmas of 2021 was stated when the film showed it’s first trailer in early 2020. However the Covid-19 pandemic caused numerous problems in the production of the film, resulting in the decision to delay the film to February 2022. Unfortunately, executive meddling from Paramount Pictures and WWE occurred, resulting in the film having it’s delay taken back, completely pulled from theatrical releases, and then released on Paramount Plus instead. This contributed in bad reviews for the film with criticism aimed towards the film’s pacing, writing, characters, and lack of faith in the source material.
- The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild was initially gonna be made as a TV series, but suddenly ended up changing into a full length film, which probably led to this film being phoned in so there could be a return to the Ice Age franchise. It also doesn’t help that the animation looks like a ridiculously unfinished downgrade from the first 5 Ice Age movies.
- Girl Finds Out She's Adopted On Thanksgiving is a another example of holiday rushing, as the film had multiple errors with the scenes, and the movie doesn't have anything to do with Thanksgiving as it actually is about Sabrina finding out to be adopted on her birthday which is before Thanksgiving. Given the trailer was released around 2 days before the movie, it is possible that the movie was made in just about a week.
- Finding Jesus 2 was released just seven months after the original Finding Jesus, proving that even Mockbuster studios like WowNow Entertainment rush sequels of their own movies!
The Overall Reason Why This Practice Sucks
- Rushing production of the film (particularly for Christmas) means that the film can seem incredibly unfinished and not that good.
The Only Redeeming Quality
- Despite some films being somewhat rushed, these can turn out to be good.