In a new report from Deadline released late last night, we learned that 20th Century Fox has pushed a number of its upcoming titles including X-Men: Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants. The Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody however, has been pushed up to November 2nd from a previously scheduled December 25th, 2019 release date.
Dark Phoenix, the X-Men sequel to the underwhelming X-Men: Apocalypse, was first set for release on November 2nd, 2018. It’s now been pushed back to February 14th, 2019. This is the first move for Dark Phoenix. The latter film on the other-hand has been attached to a number of release dates. First scheduled for an April 13th, 2018 release date, it was then pushed to February 22nd, 2019. It’s new release date will be on August 2nd, 2019.
What stands out about these release dates is that the films are positioned to open during soft months; months where major blockbusters aren’t typically set for release. If that’s what’s required for a strong opening, then so be it. We’ve seen what could happen when films that studios may have some apprehension with dominate their opening weekends even though they’re set for release in February or August. Deadpool became a phenomenon in spite of its February 12th release date and both Suicide Squad and Guardians of the Galaxy opened strong in their respective August openings. Plus, although not at all tantamount to DC or Disney-Marvel’s fan base, X-Men does still have somewhat of a built-in audience that it can rely upon to meet a portion of its box office needs.
Regardless of the fact that we won’t see these films until 2019, I applaud 20th Century Fox for being willing to move the film. If more time is required to make the best film that they can, then great. Warner Bros has already demonstrated to everyone what happens when you rush, expedite and order last minute mandates. It doesn’t just damage the film, it also acutely damages the franchise itself. 20th Century Fox itself has had to weather its own consequences stemming from the problematic production of X-Men: The Last Stand and the subsequent repercussions on the franchise for a time thereafter.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix is directed by Simon Kinberg and stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Nicholas Hoult, Alexandra Shipp, Evan Peters, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Jessica Chastain.
The New Mutants is directed by Josh Boone and stars Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton, Anya Taylor-Joy, Henry Zaga, Blu Hunt, Illyana Rasputin and Alice Braga.