Consider this a bit of serious Hollywood housekeeping after a long, boring holiday weekend. In quick succession, a bevy of release dates (some new, some moved) have been fired out of the Hollywood cannon and straight into Reject HQ eyeballs. Ouch, Hollywood, seriously, those are our eyes.
After the break, check out a full round-up of today’s many (too many, really) release date shuffles and announcements, including dates for sequels to both Rise of the Planet of the Apes and X-Men: First Class, along with a new date for Thor 2 and a big move for The Lone Ranger, all rounded out by some fun assorted dates, like so much Fun Size candy of the calendar.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
The release date: Fox has announced that the sequel to their prequel (sorta), Rise of the Planet of the Apes, will open on May 23, 2014.
Previous date: Only in our dark, forest-y dreams.
Why? Memorial Day. Duh.
Currently slated for that date? Sony’s Pixels.
What it means: This gives the likely CG-heavy film a full two years to get from page to screen, and a holiday weekend that hasn’t been claimed by another big property means that Fox expects to make some serious cashola (again). The only hitch? The month starts off with the release of the sequel to this summer’s as-yet-unseen The Amazing Spider-Man, followed a week later by Marvel’s untitled film. Yup, May is summer now, at least in Cinema Town.
X-Men: First Class Untitled Sequel
The release date: Fox has also announced that the still-untitled sequel to X-Men: First Class will open on July 18, 2014.
Previous date: Only in our heads, not just Matthew Vaughn-style delusions.
Why? This thing needed a date to really kick production into high gear. Also, with so many in-demand cast members (McAvoy, Fassbender, Lawrence) to assemble, the film will need that much time to get everything together.
Currently slated for that date? So far, it’s the only thing on the calendar for that whole month.
What it means: Placing the film firmly in mid-summer territory is Fox’s way of announcing that they plan to have a hell of a blockbuster on their hands, and one worth competing with. I’ve already bought my ticket.
The Lone Ranger
The release date: Not to be outdone by Fox, Walt Disney has also announced some changes. First up, they’re moving The Lone Ranger to July 3, 2013.
Previous date: May 31, 2013.
Why? Be honest, did you think the beleaguered production would be done on time? Also, America!
Currently slated for that date? Despicable Me 2 and the also just-announced 3D re-release of Independence Day. Tonto? You have some America! competition.
What it means: It’s a fair move away from a crowded end-of-May (current releases include Epic, Fast & Furious 6, and The Hangover Part III), but it still means that Lone Ranger is vacating an otherwise empty weekend to hit up holiday cashola. Will it pay off? This is a true wait and see in every sense of the word.
The release date: Disney has also included a new date for Thor 2, now set for November 8, 2013.
Previous date: November 15, 2013.
Why? Who cares? I want to see it now. Also, turns out, The Avengers worked well, why not get another Marvel superhero film into theaters as soon as possible, even if that means moving it a week? And, let’s get real here, Catching Fire opens on November 22, and moving Thor 2 up a week gives it a snowball’s chance in hell of being number one for two weeks, not just one.
Currently slated for that date? Paramount’s Me and My Shadow and the One Direction Concert Movie (yow!).
What it means: Consider this fallout from the success of both The Avengers and The Hunger Games. Marvel wants to make that number-one money (again), but Catching Fire is a juggernaut that will not be usurped in its first week of release.
ComingSoon also hits us with some other assorted release dates, including:
Robopocalypse will open on April 25, 2014.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty bows on Christmas Day, 2013.
The as-yet-untitled buddy cop comedy from Paul Feig, starring Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock, will open on April 5, 2013.
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters moves from March 27, 2013 all the way to August 16, 2013.
Walking With Dinosaurs also moves, from October 11, 2013 to December 20, 2013.