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Fox Shifts ‘Dark Phoenix’ and ‘Alita’ Release Dates, ‘Deadpool 2’ Recut Rumored

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Fox has made several adjustments to their release plan for the next few years. Alita: Battle Angel will now be taking flight on February 14, 2019, causing Dark Phoenix to claim the June 7, 2019 release date that Gambit had, and moving Gambit to March 13, 2020. Meanwhile, a recut version of Deadpool 2 is apparently hitting theaters in Alita‘s original release window (December 21, 2018).


According to Deadline, Fox have moved a bunch of release dates in what appears to be a strategy to pace their releases out. Alita will now open in a frame close to the Chinese New Year, and that movie will likely need interest from China and other Asian markets to turn a profit, and as such, the film will no longer have to compete with the likes of BumblebeeAquamanSpider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and Mary Poppins Returns. Since this takes the spot previously reserved for Dark Phoenix, that should also be beneficial for that film, as the movie is undergoing reshoots that have lasted about a month so far and are expected to go on for as many as one or two more. Dark Phoenix would also benefit from this release date shift as it will now play in the active Summer season instead of a traditionally-quiet month at the box office, and that also means that the film should dominate premium format theater screens in that release frame.


What’s of interest is the decision to date Gambit. That project has had a lot of false starts, and it’s recently been suggested that filming will finally get going in February 2019 in order to make sure that the film (which Disney reportedly aren’t interested in doing) will be released even after the merger between Disney and Fox is finalized. The next few months will either make or break that project. Meanwhile, Deadpool 2‘s PG-13 recut seems like a move to fill out the spot that Alita has absconded from in order to increase the movie’s overall take, but perhaps more importantly it could be a cut of the film that will be created to see release in China, a key market where the film did not open in.


Fox is known for shifting release dates around almost capriciously, and it will be interesting to see if Disney will inherit that practice once they’ve been absorbed into their multimedia empire. For now, this is a move that will give two major Fox projects more room to breathe, a stalled project a chance to actually get made, and a sequel to get a little more cash domestically and potentially a lot more abroad.


Grant Davis is a freelance writer who has covered entertainment news for more than four years. His articles have frequently appeared in Star Wars News Net as well as as other entertainment-related websites. As someone who grew up on Star Wars and comic book movies, he’s completely thrilled with the current era of genre entertainment.

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