(Screengrab: A Monster Calls trailer/YouTube)

You’d think a J.A. Bayona film titled A Monster Calls, which stars Felicity Jones, Sigourney Weaver, and (the voice of) Liam Neeson, wouldn’t fear a little competition on its opening weekend. But according to Deadline, Focus Features has just pushed back the release date from October 21 to December 23, when the film will have a limited run before going into wide release on January 6. The original late October opening would have seen A Monster Calls pitted against the might of a Tom Cruise sequel (Jack Reacher 2: Never Go Back), the comedic chops of Zack Galifianakis and Isla Fisher (Keeping Up With The Joneses), and the holiday horror of a Tyler Perry film (Boo! A Madea Halloween), among others. But the new December-January dates offer Bayona’s adaptation of Patrick Ness’ means its only real box-office opposition will be in the form of Amityville: The Awakening and the congealing Underworld: Blood Wars. It’s a pre-Christmas miracle!