Release date changes are nothing out of the ordinary, but the ones recently announced by 20th Century Fox have taken us a little bit by surprise. Two of the studios biggest films of the year are having their theatrical releases pushed back – one of them by almost five months.
First, there’s The Predator – Shane Black’s reboot of the sci-fi action series that began with the muscle-bound original way back in 1987. It was originally slated for release on the 3rd August 2018, but is now, per Fox’s announcement, scheduled for the 14th September. As our fearless leader Simon Brew points out, the movie’s currently undergoing a round of reshoots, so it seems likely the production needs a few more weeks for editing and so forth. It’s worth noting that we still haven’t seen a trailer for The Predator yet, either, and neither is it the first delay the movie’s experienced – Black’s reboot was once scheduled for release this March.
The bigger deal, though, is Alita: Battle Angel, director Robert Rodriguez’s adaptation of a cult anime and manga. With an estimated budget of about $180 million or so, it was among one of this summer’s major releases, with its debut pegged for the 20th July. Well, not anymore: it’s now being pushed back to the 21st December.
That’s a pretty drastic change, and more worryingly for Alita’s prospects, places the film in the company of some serious competition – Warner’s Aquaman and Paramount’s Transformers spin-off, Bumblebee, are both out in the same time frame. Given that Alita has less of a recognisable property behind it than those rival movies, which are both parts of much bigger franchises, we’d guess that Fox has a fairly big marketing challenge ahead of it.
More on both of these movies as we get it.