Nikke Finke has gotten word that the Weinsteins are putting Halloween 3D!!! on hiatus until director Patrick Lussier (My Bloody Valentine 3D!!!) is fully open to shoot it, instead of squeezing it between his current projects.

The film was on a fast track to be shot later this year and ready for a summer 2010 release, but Finke’s sources cite Bob’s reluctance to speed the film through production. Finke does acknowledge the nastier rumors…

“Sure, the rumor mill claims TWC is out of money amid all those layoffs, and TWC couldn’t agree on a $2.5M budget battle with Lussier, and TWC had key crew ready to fly to Shreveport.”

…but pegs the hiatus more on the scheduling difficulties than cash flow problems. I see no reason why it is not a mix of all of these things. Of course there is also the matter of Halloween II whimpering into theaters a few weeks ago and being outshone by Final Destination 3D!!!. The Rob Zombie directed sequel has grossed around $32 Million at this point, which Finke’s source claims is just dandy.

“We make those pics for very little money and tight marketing dollars so anything north of $25M is a huge success for us,” an insider tells me. Meanwhile, HII, whose domestic total is now $32M, will get a re-release on Halloween in selected theaters for midnight showings.

This is true enough (our own Dellamorte made a similar assertion), but I can’t imagine the studio was over-excited about such harshly diminishing returns on the sequel when the first made nearly $60 million domestic. So, after the bright idea of releasing Halloween II on a date that wasn’t Halloween and pitting it against a franchise with more goodwill and a bigger gimmick, the decision is made to follow it up with a half-assed midnight release against the monolithic Saw franchise? TWC will definitely soak a few more dollars out of the film, but I can’t help but wonder if an original release date on a less competitive weekend or a full resourced push to reclaim their franchise’s namesake holiday would have been wiser in the long run.

As is, Halloween doesn’t have the steam to justify the aching company soaking money into a hurried production, so expect to hear about H3D!!! when The Weinstein Company is closer to recovery, or when another studio has gobbled it up.

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