In a big slate adjustment on Thursday, 20th Century Fox has moved the release of three upcoming X-Men spinoff films, most notably “Deadpool 2,” which is moving up two weeks from June 1 to May 18.
Meanwhile, Josh Boone’s upcoming superhero horror movie film, “The New Mutants,” is getting a big pushback from this April to February 22, 2019. “Gambit,” the X-Men spinoff film starring Channing Tatum, was originally scheduled to be released in February 2019, but will now be a summer release on June 7, 2019.
The move makes the start of this summer’s blockbuster season much more crowded, as Deadpool will return to theaters two weeks after his fellow Marvel heroes all hit the big screen in “Avengers: Infinity War” and one week before the launch of the next “Star Wars” anthology film, “Solo.” “Deadpool 2” will now go head-to-head against Sony’s horror film, “Slender Man.”
“It’s not a bad move at all,” Exhibitor Relations analyst Jeff Bock told TheWrap. “The Memorial Day Weekend box office needs more than one big release, so ‘Deadpool’ could certainly find some room in its second weekend alongside ‘Solo.’ And it’s not that much of a competitor against ‘Avengers,’ because while ‘Avengers’ pushes the boundaries of what a PG-13 comic book movie can do, ‘Deadpool’ certainly pushes the boundaries of what a superhero movie can do with an R rating, so audiences might even see it as a companion viewing experience to ‘Avengers.'”
As for why “The New Mutants” is getting pushed back nearly a year after promotional campaigns had already commenced, an insider who spoke with TheWrap said that the move is being made because the film isn’t scary enough. “The New Mutants” follows five teenagers with mysterious pasts who have just discovered their mutant powers and are struggling to escape a secret facility where they are being held against their will. “Gambit,” which follows the titular, card throwing member of the X-Men in a heist story, lost Gore Verbinski as director earlier Thursday, prompting a search for a replacement.
The one mutant movie that isn’t getting moved is the main series’ next installment: “X-Men: Dark Phoenix,” which is staying put on its November 2 release date.