No matter how “X-Men” sequel “X2” performs after its May 2 opening, it’s already set one record.
20th Century Fox has staked a claim to the biggest-ever day-and-date release, opening simultaneously in 80 countries and 93 separate markets. Fox also set the previous record last year when it bowed “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones” in 74 countries.
The strategy of a massive day-and-date release is mostly used on “event” movies that are already highly recognizable. The original “X-Men” took in $300 million worldwide three years ago.
The jury is still out on whether day-and-date ought to be used on every release. Some distribs also believe the tactic can generate worldwide buzz and stop video piracy, but others adhere to the notion that releases of American films need to be staggered to help build interest in the wide array of foreign markets.
The looming advent of worldwide digital distribution is likely to accelerate the debate.