It’s not uncommon for a film or two from the awards slate to push back to the following year. Sometimes, this can help a film. This ended up benefitting “Foxcatcher,” which gained 5 nominations and avoided an all-time lineup in Best Actor. Other times, the quality of a film might not be enough to sustain the buzz. For the new Mike Leigh prestige picture “Peterloo,” and the Robert Rodriguez sci-fi CGI spectacle, “Alita: Battle Angel” this might be the case.
According to Deadline, Amazon Studios will punt with “Peterloo,” moving the film from 2018 to an April 5, 2019 release. For “Peterloo” this will give Leigh potential to fix up the film after mediocre receptions from Telluride and TIFF. It will also give it a shot to ruminate with audiences for months and compete in the costume and screenplay categories.
Meanwhile, Fox will shift about half of their upcoming blockbuster slate in the coming months. Again according to Deadline, “Alita: Battle Angel” will vacate its Christmas release and push back to February 14, 2019. This forces “Dark Phoenix” the upcoming X-Men film into a summer slot of June 7, 2019. That puts “Dark Phoenix” into the Summer blockbuster month against “Secret Life of Pets 2” and comedy “Flarsky” starring Charlize Theron and Alexander Skarsgård.
Both of the moves make sense. First of all, going head-to-head with “Bumblebee,” “Aquaman,” “Holmes and Watson” and “Welcome to Marwen” might have doomed its box office returns. Moving to February opens up the calendar, and Fox found success with “Deadpool” in this time frame. Same goes for “Peterloo,” which might have been a contender in several below-the-line categories, but felt weak. Best move them to 2019 and see if they hit then.