A Day After Its Trailer Debuted Online, Fox Is Pushing Back ‘Dark Phoenix’
Barely a day after the film’s first trailer debuted online, Fox has pushed Dark Phoenix back from its February 2019 release date. Now it will open on June 7.
This is the second big delay in what could wind up being the final X-Men film from the 20th Century Fox studio. (A lot depends on what happens during the Fox/Disney merger.) Dark Phoenix, which is directed by Simon Kinberg, was originally supposed to open in theaters this November. Back in March, Fox bumped the film from November to February, amidst rumors of extensive reshoots on the movie. Now it’s been pushed back again to June — out of the slot where both Deadpool movies have performed extremely well and into the middle of the crowded summer season. At the moment the only other movie on the calendar for June 7 is The Secret Life of Pets 2, but that’s just one before the new Men In Black movie with Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, and two weeks before Toy Story 4.
Dark Phoenix isn’t the only major Fox movie creeping backwards on the release calendar, either. The studio also delayed the release of Alita: Battle Angel, which was to be one of their big Christmas releases for 2018. Now, instead of December 21, the film — a live-action adaptation of a manga and anime series from Robert Rodriguez and James Cameron — will open in theaters on Dark Phoenix’s original (or second, technically) release date, February 14. (A PG-13-rated cut of Deadpool 2 will open on December 14 instead.) As I have said many times before: There is nothing more romantic than a battle angel.
Plenty of good movies have been pushed back before an eventually successful release, but the repeated delays on Dark Phoenix are worrying. The trailer made the movie look so much like X-Men: The Last Stand (without the one character everyone loves in that movie, Wolverine) that it took a lot of people by surprise. At the moment, Fox’s other X-Men movie, The New Mutants, is still on track to open on August 2. Does that get bumped back next?