Normally, news of a studio shuffling release dates for its films is not something worth paying much attention to, but when it comes to the blockbuster superhero genre, it’s worth taking note. 20th Century Fox announced this week that it’s moving around the releases of three upcoming X-Men films, with two of them being delayed and another — Deadpool 2 — moving up by two weeks.
The highly-anticipated Deadpool 2 will now arrive in theaters on May 18, a shift upward from its previously announced date of June 1.
The new release date will pit the Ryan Reynolds-starring film opposite Sony’s horror movie, Slender Man, but there’s a strategic advantage in choosing that date.
Deadpool 2 will essentially have an entire week now to dominate the box office before the arrival of Solo: A Star Wars Story on May 25.
Any new Star Wars movie is guaranteed to reign supreme at the box office, but by giving Deadpool 2 a one-week advantage, it should fair well with similarly-targeted audiences.
Meanwhile, director Josh Boone’s new horror-styled X-Men spinoff, The New Mutants, won’t arrive in theaters until next year.
The film, starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, and Charlie Heaton, was originally slated for April 13 of this year, but will now debut on February 22, 2019.
Sources claim the move was to prevent both Deadpool 2 and The New Mutants from playing in theaters at the same time in certain overseas markets.
Finally, Channing Tatum’s troubled Gambit movie is moving back its proposed release date from February 14, 2019, to June 7, 2019.
Tatum has been pushing to play the character in a standalone film going back as far as 2014, but just this week the film lost its fourth director.
Gambit is still scheduled to begin filming this March in New Orleans, but the loss of Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski could now set production back until later this year.