Saturday, June 13, 2015

Fox moves 'The Martian' to October, shifts 'Victor Frankenstein' to Thanksgiving; 'London Has Fallen', 'The Equalizer 2' set new release dates

While the film world is occupied with the total takeover of Universal's Jurassic World (the film has a shot at breaking the all-time opening weekend record, which is a truly stunning result), a few of the other studios are shifting the release dates on their upcoming slate. With a very crowded late summer and fall season ahead of us, the studios are rushing to make sure that their films are set for success in the later months of the year. Let's move through a quick breakdown of some of the release date changes that have occurred in the last week or so.

Earlier this week, Fox released the first trailer for The Martian, Ridley Scott's new sci-fi thriller. The reaction from fans was very strong, and it looks like Fox could have a hit on their hands here. The film was originally set for release on November 25, 2015, but has now moved to October 2, 2015. And I can't decide whether that's a smart move or not. By shifting the film to October, The Martian avoids a jam-packed November, led by Spectre, The Peanuts Movie, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 2, Xmas, The Good Dinosaur and a few other titles that could break out. However, Fox is now moving the film into the equally crowded October slate. 

On its current release date, The Martian will face off against Robert Zemeckis' IMAX thriller The Walk, Bradley Cooper's new film Adam Jones, and the limited release of the buzzy crime drama Legend. Throughout the rest of the month, The Martian will face tough opposition from Pan, Bridge of Spies, Steve Jobs and Crimson Peak, among other titles. So while Fox may be avoiding some big blockbusters, they're running into quite a tough slate here. Hopefully everything works out for the film. The Martian is directed by Ridley Scott, stars Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Donald Glover, Jeff Daniels, Michael Pena, Sean Bean, Kristen Wiig, Sebastian Stan and Mackenzie Davis, and will now debut on October 2. 

Originally set for release on October 2, Focus Features has now moved the Gerard Butler action sequel London Has Fallen to January 22, 2016. Olympus Has Fallen was a surprising hit back in 2013, grossing nearly $98 million in the US and $160 million worldwide on a $70 million budget. The sequel should have a lower budget and will probably do great in January. The film will hit theaters on the same day as CriminalRisen and The Boy, and one week after The Nut Job 2 and Ride Along 2. With a cast that includes Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo, Jackie Earle Haley, Angela Bassett, Robert Forster and Aaron Eckhart, London Has Fallen should do strong business in January.

To occupy The Martian's empty slot, Fox has moved Victor Frankenstein to the November 25 date. The Frankenstein origin story from Paul McGuigan stars James McAvoy as Dr. Frankenstein and Daniel Radcliffe as Igor. I don't know much about this film beyond what is provided in the IMDb plot synopsis, so this one feels like a wild card to me. However, it is entering a tough month and if it doesn't gain some buzz, I can see Victor Frankenstein moving to next year. Currently, it will hit theaters in the aftermath of Mockingjay and on the same day as Creed, The Good Dinosaur, Xmas and Midnight Special. Tough crowd and it would be easy to see this film get lost in the shuffle. 

Finally, Sony has now set a release date for The Equalizer 2, the sequel to last year's Denzel Washington action hit. The film will see the return of Washington, and will now debut on September 29, 2017. Nothing else is known about the film as of now. That's it for today's release date recap, but with such a crowded fall season, I'm sure that some more big news will drop in the near future.

Image Credits: Fox Movies, Screen Rant, Joblo

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