"You are PSYCHED about this SPECIAL DATE, 11.11.11 ... a date exhibiting just the sort of numerical gimmick corporations love to exploit for their big releases, or for launching MAJOR REBRANDING INITIATIVES."
This is when some movie, game, TV show, etc., comes out and its release date has some referential meaning related to said media being released. This is usually simply gimmicky, though the date may be relevant to the plot.
Horror movies particularly like to come out on Friday the 13th
, as it's an unlucky date, but then, any holiday is a good time for a horror movie
Remember, as the U.S. notates the date in a special order, many examples here will seem nonsensical to almost everyone, but this manner of notation is important for the examples from the U.S.
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Anime and Manga
- The anime of the books Fate/Zero is rather infamous for a release schedule wherein certain episodes would air on holidays that made them tragically ironic. For example, Mother's Day aired the episode where Kiritsugu blow up a plane with his adoptive mother on it, while the episode where Kiritsugu kills Grail-created incarnations of his wife and daughter aired on Father's day. Word of God says that these (along with the episode where Rider dies airing on the anniversary of his historical incarnation's death) were coincidence.
- Whether or not it was intentional, following the delays caused by the Tohoku earthquake, the finale of Puella Magi Madoka Magica almost showed on the week of April 30/May 1st, the actual day of the Walpurgis Night; the name of the Final Boss. Instead, it was bumped forwards to Good Friday 2011 (April 21), the day celebrating Jesus sacrificing himself for the sins of mankind. Many viewers saw correlations with the plot.
- The 20th episode of Digimon Adventure where Taichi briefly goes home to the real world and discovers that it's the same date he left which is August 1st, 1999. The episode (directed by Mamoru Hosoda and connected to the plot of the pilot movie) also aired on August 1st 1999. This date as "Odaiba Memorial" is mentioned several times throughout that show and 02.
- Summer Wars, also directed by Hosoda, was released in Japan on August 1st, which is the great-grandmother's birthday in the film.
- Both the rerelease of the Hellsing TV series and release of Hellsing Ultimate episodes 5 to 8 were out in the US on November 13 — the birthdate of Vlad the Impaler.
- The fourth and final installment of the Rebuild of Evangelion tetralogy is rumored to be released by the winter of 2015: the year the original series took place in, and the twentieth anniversary of the franchise.
- An April Fools' Plot for Smile Pretty Cure! was released on, you guessed it, April 1st, 2012.
- Two for Happiness Charge Pretty Cure - a Mother's Day episode was released on May 11th. A soccer episode was released on June 19th, the start of the 2014 World Cup.
Comics — Books
- Numerous horror movies tend to be released on Friday the 13th, particularly Dracula (1931) and, of course, the Friday the 13th movies.
- The upcoming thirteenth Star Trek film is scheduled for release in 2016, when the Star Trek franchise turns 50. Bonus points in that the producers actually said it was the "logical" year.
- Averted in the case of the third Star Wars trilogy: The first film will premiere in 2015, while Part VIII will open in 2017 (which would be the 40th anniversary of A New Hope. The sequel is scheduled to close in 2019 at least.
- Man of Steel was released June 14th, 2013; approximately 75 years to Superman's debut in Action Comics #1 which was released in June of 1938.
- Superman: The Movie was released in 1978 which marked the 40th anniversary of the franchise.
- Kamen Rider × Super Sentai: Super Hero Taisen opened on April 21, 2012, the day of the climatic Big Badass Battle Sequence.
- Titanic was re-released in 3D in 2012, the 100th anniversary of the sinking.
- The film 11-11-11 opened in... guess it.
- The remake of The Mechanic opened on January 28, 2011, the same day that the film's climax takes place.
- The movie 9 came out on September 9, 2009 (9/9/09).
- In Disaster Movie, the world is set to end on August 29, 2008 — the very same day that the film opened in theatres. (sigh)
- The Number 23 opened on February 23, 2007.
- The remake of Black Christmas (2006) opened in the US on December 25, 2006. The UK got it ten days earlier, on December 15th.
- Averted in the case of V for Vendetta, which was originally scheduled to open on November 4, 2005 (the day before Guy Fawkes Night/the 400th anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot) but was delayed four months due to Warner Bros. being unsure about its box office prospects.
- The remake of The Omen was released on June 6, 2006 (6/6/06). And before that, the original was sneak previewed nationwide on June 6, 1976 (the official date was June 25th). Which also happened to be a Sunday.
- Fantastic Four was originally supposed to be released on July 4, 2005, and early trailers played this up. However, its release date was shifted to four days later.
- Independence Day was originally scheduled for release on July 3rd, 1996; subverted in that public anticipation did lead to some early showings on the 2nd, however. Interestingly enough though, the film begins with the date marked July 2nd and ends on the 4th.
- Child's Play opened on November 9th, 1988, which is also the day when Charles Lee Ray becomes Chucky in the film.
- The Film of the Book 1984 came out in 1984. Some of the scenes were deliberately filmed on the dates given for those events in the book (even though George Orwell made it clear those dates were just Winston Smith's guesses in the first place).
- The 10th James Bond (007) movie, The Spy Who Loved Me, was released on July 7, 1977. The cast of the 50th anniversary film Skyfall was announced on November 3, 2011; exactly fifty years after Sean Connery was announced as the first Bond.
- The 13th and final installment of A Series of Unfortunate Events was released on Friday, October 13. The word "thirteen" appeared on virtually every page of the book.
- One of the hints that George Orwell's 1984 is an allegory for contemporary politics is that its title is an altered version of the year of its writing — 1948.
Live Action TV
- In the fifth series of the revived Doctor Who, the date in which the universe was scheduled to blow up was June 26th 2010, the air date of season finale "The Big Bang". April 22, 2011 at 5:02pm was the date the Doctor was scheduled to die in the sixth series. Accounting for Lake Silencio timezones vs. British timezones, this means that he appeared to die the day "The Impossible Astronaut" aired.
- This happened by accident, but the 28th episode of Kamen Rider OOO and the thousandth episode total of the Kamen Rider franchise aired on April 3, 2011, 40 years to the day since the franchise began airing on television.
- By chance, the episode of Merlin which featured King Arthur pulling Excalibur out of the Stone was broadcast on Christmas Eve, 2011. According to Arthurian Legend, Arthur pulled the Sword in the Stone out of its anvil on Christmas Day.
- LOST Season 5 Episode "316" first aired in 2009 on February 18, when there were exactly 316 days in the year left.
- The Black Mirror episode "15 Million Merits", a dystopian satire of TV talent shows, was broadcast on Channel 4 immediately after the 2011 finale of talent show The X Factor ended on ITV1.
- Played for very dark humor in the last episode of Season 4 of Game of Thrones. To celebrate Father's Day 2014, Tyrion Lannister kills his father, Tywin.
- The first episode of the third season of Poirot, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, first aired in the United Kingdom on a Sunday, September 16, 1990. This was to coincide with the celebration of the centenary of the birth of Agatha Christie (September 15, 1890, which is pretty close enough).
- Also, the first episode of Season 6, Hercule Poirot's Christmas, aired on Christmas Day 1994 in the UK. And the second episode of Season 12, Hallowe'en Party, aired just four days before Halloween 2010.
- The remastered albums of The Beatles were released on 09/09/09, based on the infamous "lyrics" to "Revolution 9". Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was released worldwide on CD on 1 June 1987, so that it would indeed be "twenty years ago today."
- Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour deliberately released his latest solo album, On An Island, a rumination on family life, aging, and mortality, on March 6th, 2006, the date of his 60th birthday.
- The Neon Genesis Evangelion soundtrack album The Day of Second Impact was released in Japan on September 13, 2000, which matches the date of the Second Impact event in the show's storyline.
- On January 8, 2013, David Bowie turned 66 years old — and shocked the world by having his official website relaunched, announcing the forthcoming release of his first studio album in nearly ten years, and releasing the first single and video ("Where Are We Now?") from it. No one in his fanbase or the press (who were sure he'd retired years ago) saw this coming, as he swore his collaborators to secrecy.
- 311's album "Stereolithic" was released on March 11 (3/11), 2014.
- There was a considerable increase in marriages set for July 7, 2007 (7/7/07) due to the conception of 7 as a lucky number. No word on if those marriages have had a better rate of success.
- Eight is a lucky number in China, associated with prosperity and confidence. So the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing had its opening ceremony not just on August 8 (8/8/08), but a 8:00 PM local time.
- The Monster High franchise was launched on a Friday the 13th.
- The demo for Sonic Generations was made available on June 23, 2011, exactly 20 years after the first Sonic the Hedgehog was released. This is fitting, as it's a game about Sonic's history.
- Generations's second demo was released on the 17th anniversary of Sonic & Knuckles on October 19. Later, for the Steam Summer Sale of 2012, Generations was discounted to $10.19.
- Sonic 2 was released on November 24th, 1992, which was a Tuesday. Sonic Adventure 2 was also released on a Tuesday. Not only is it a pun, Tuesday is the second day of the week if you consider Sunday the 7th.
- The English patch for Yousei Daisensou (Fairy Wars) was released on September 9. The game stars Cirno, who has a memetic association with the number 9.
- Much like the above-mentioned 9 and Beatles remasters examples, The Beatles: Rock Band saw release on 09/09/09.
- Nights: Journey of Dream was announced on April 1st, 2007 and released in December of the same year. The original Nights into Dreams had a Christmas version known for having special events occur on Christmas Eve and April Fools' Day.
- In 2005, Killer7 was released on the seventh day of the seventh month.
- All but onenote of the God of War video games have been released in March, the month named for the Roman God of War, Mars. In addition, God of War III was released March 16. This may be a reference to John 3:16 in the Bible, as the series has some possible Christian overtones, III most of all.
- The DS Horror Game Dementium: The Ward was released 31.10.07, or Halloween. This date comes up a few times in-game, such as the combination to a keypad.
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 came out on November 10th, 2009, and the launch trailers ended with "11-10-09" blinking on in sequence like the countdown before an explosion. Presumably, this was meant to signify the "exploding" international tensions in the game's plot which results in America being invaded, or just the ramped-up action in the game.
- Metal Gear Solid 2 was released during the Chinese Year of the Snake. Whether this was deliberate or coincidental, at least one trailer pointed it out.
- The myth arc of Assassin's Creed heavily tied into the supposed apocalypse date of 12/21/2012. Assassins Creed III was released on the same day it begins in game (30.10.2012) to play into this. The game itself ends on the former date.
- The American release date of BlazBlue: Continuum Shift is July 20, roughly 19 days after the Japanese release. 7/20. As in the 720 degree motion required for Iron Tager's "Genesic Emerald Tager Buster" distortion drive. REAL SOVIET RELEASE DATE!
- Hate Plus was due to be released to coincidence with the new lunar year, an event celebrated in the story. It didn't happen.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was released on 11/11/11, which was a Friday.
- The PC version of Valkyria Chronicles, a game about war, was released on Veterans Day 2014.
- Super Columbine Massacre RPG was released on April 20, 2005, the sixth anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre — which is the main topic of the game.
- Homestuck has an interesting history of turning release dates into Arc Numbers, and then turning those same arc numbers into future release dates.
- Andrew Hussie planned to start the comic on April 10, but unexpected delays pushed the date back to April 13, or 4/13. Subsequently, the number 413 pops up many places in Homestuck. And some major flash animations were posted on subsequent 4/13 anniversaries, or on the 413th day since the start of the comic.
- The Hivebent arc, which introduced the troll universe, began on June 12 (or 6/12), introducing the arc number 612. The flash "John: Rise Up" was released on the 612th day since the start of the comic.
- Later, the comic introduced another arc number, 1025 (the sum of 413 and 612), generally used to represent some union between the kids' and the trolls' universes. The end-of-Act 5 animation (in which the kids and the trolls escape the simultaneous destruction of both universes) was initially meant to go up in August or September, but significant delays pushed it back until October. Hussie then delayed it a few days longer, so it could go up on October 25 (10/25).
- Act 6 began on November 11, 2011, so Hussie lampshaded it by making it an in-universe meaningful release date, referred to as "2x3prong Day (whatever that means)". Not surprisingly, Act 6 introduces a new Arc Number based around eleven, or sometimes three ones (1/11), four ones (11/11), or six ones (11/11/11), more commonly the latter.
- Roommates has this in spades mostly with the ending pages of the arcs but sometimes with the first ones too. Also not only holidays but solstices are important in this comic, mostly when the fae are concerned.
- The 2013 summer arc begins on the 21th of June; Summer Solstice / Midsummer - It's about Kings and/or Fae.
- Halloween arcs routinely begin or end on Halloween.
- There was also a page titled Gift published on Christmas Eve for example (the second to last page of the 2012 Halloween arc incidentally, the page before it was on Winter Solstice and the last page of the arc on New Years Eve).
- In Tv Tome Adventures, the Arc Number needed to activate Kirb's ultimate form was 1111. Years later, the Continuity Reboot of the show, TOME, releases its first episode on 11/11/11 at 11:11:11.
- Ultra Fast Pony. The episode "Pirate Shipping", in which the cast celebrates the holiday of "Heartsgiving", went live on 28 November 2013, the same date as that year's American Thanksgiving. (Since the creator is Australian, this may just be a weird coincidence.)
- Adventure Time's Mystery Train episode, which takes place on Finn's 13th birthday, first aired on 3/14/11 putting Finn's birthday on Pi Day. The 100th episode premiered on October 1, 2012, Cartoon Network's 20th anniversary.
- The first episode of Nightmare Ned premiered the same day (April 19, 1997) as the tenth birthday of Ned's voice actor, Courtland Mead.
- The U.S. premiere of the Wander over Yonder episode "The Birthday Boy" was March 31st 2014, which is Craig McCracken's birthday.
- The Powerpuff Girls episode "The Bare Facts", centered around the Mayor and told mostly from his POV (at least camera-wise) aired on January 20th, 1999. January 20th being the date most U.S. presidents are inaugurated.
- The SpongeBob SquarePants episode "SB-129" in which Squidward accidentally time travels too far into the future, then too far into the past and then "nowhere" aired on December 31st, 1999—the last day of the millennium. Nickelodeon actually aired several new episodes of shows with a millennium/future theme that night, including The Angry Beavers and Kablam.