The X-Men: Dark Phoenix trailer dropped recently and seemed to drop with mostly positive reaction. They made a big splash with the new February 2019 release date, only for a few days later to push the film back to June 2019. We also saw the New Mutants trailer which was supposed to come out this year, now coming out next year. Then we have Gambit, which has been in a production hell and is supposedly coming out in 2020 now. So what’s going on Fox, should we be concerned?
It’s completely normal for a film to change release dates, it happens very often. What’s not normal is to have some splashy marketing and drop your trailer with a release date, only to change the date a few days later. What happened between then and now to enact this change?
February used to be the dumping ground for movies. However Deadpool and other blockbusters have made the month successful again. The month is less crowded than your Summer months, giving films a better opportunity to have legs at the box office and earn more. So for Fox to date X-Men: Dark Phoenix in February didn’t necessarily mean they had no faith in the film and wanted to dump it in February. Perhaps they wanted to give it the best opportunity to have it’s time in the spotlight.
The last X-Men film, Apocalypse, came out during the busy Summer period and struggled to stay afloat at the box office. The period is just so busy with a new blockbuster coming out every weekend and eating the box office.
So really it made sense to put Dark Phoenix in February, it would have been the first major superhero film out the gate in 2019 (Hellboy comes out in January but will be much smaller), giving it a lot of buzz. The next superhero film is early March with Captain Marvel, but the 2 films would have been spaced enough to give Dark Phoenix a strong run at its box office.
So then why now move it to June (kicking out Gambit’s release date, pushing Gambit until 2020)? Perhaps the buzz for the trailer was more positive than they thought it would be, giving them the confidence to release in June during the Summer period. This would have been coupled with the fact that Gambit clearly isn’t in a place to release next year, so they wanted to have a Fox/Marvel movie still be in that busy Summer period, and to capture the huge Chinese and global box office as well.
And if they expect Dark Phoenix to have positive critical and box office success, they may expect that success to ripple to New Mutants coming out in August. If people love the X-Men film in June, that buzz can continue until the next X-Men film, New Mutants in August.
It’s clear that New Mutants has had its issues, with its release date moving around, and re-shoots taking place to change the tone. There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of confidence in the film, so using Dark Phoenix to help build confidence in New Mutants is a smart strategy.
So I don’t think Dark Phoenix moving dates is anything to be concerned about, really its signalling Fox’s confidence in the film. Gambit is the biggest gamble at the moment, with its release date being pushed until March 2020. We’ve had so many director changes and date changes, it just feels like this film is losing steam. Will anyone really care in 2020 about the Gambit movie? Does anyone really care now?
Okay maybe I’m being a bit harsh, I’m sure there’s lots of big Gambit fans out there who are excited (raise your hand proudly if you are), but as for the wider audience, Fox needs to get them invested in this movie. Obviously having Channing Tatum as your lead is a good start!
Excitingly however this December we’re getting a new Deadpool movie! Well kinda. It will be a re-cut PG-13 version of film (maybe?), with new scenes being shot to potentially re-structure the story like Princess Bride. This will be coming out the same day as Aquaman interestingly enough (I’m sure WB aren’t impressed with that). We don’t know many details yet, but it’s Deadpool so I’m sure whatever it is, it will be loved.
All in all, not time to freak out yet. But what are your thoughts? Do you think Fox are being messy with their X-Men universe? Let me know in the comments below!
If you like GirlonComicBookWorld and would like to support the site, you can head HERE to make a contribution, anything is appreciated!
Categories: comic book movies