That’s right: After being slated for a Feb. 14, 2019, theatrical release, Dark Phoenix won’t hit theaters until June 7, SYFY WIRE has confirmed. This, of course, is after the film was original slated for a November 2018 release.
This move is part of a bunch of release-date changes that Fox has made (as initially reported by Deadline). In Dark Phoenix’s place, the studio will release the Robert Rodriguez-directed Alita: Battle Angel, moving it from Dec. 21, 2018, to Feb. 14, 2019.
Another X-Men film, Gambit, has been pushed out of Dark Phoenix’s new June 7, 2019, release slot to March 13, 2020. But since Gambit is still in production, it makes sense to push that one back in favor of the film that’s been, y’know, made.
One intriguing film on Fox's updated slate is an “Untitled Deadpool” movie that will be released on Dec. 21. No other details have been disclosed, though Deadline is reporting that apparently it’s a PG-13 cut of Deadpool 2. (So, is it, like, only 12 minutes long, or... how would that work?)
The release-date musical chairs has clearly been done with an eye to better position the films for potentially stronger performances. For example, not only is summer a better release window for Dark Phoenix than the usual wastelands of February (typically a dumping ground for studios), but it also positions the film to open better in China. (Sources tell SYFY WIRE that the Dark Phoenix trailer received 44 million views in the first 24 hours of its release online.)
Alita moves out of an overcrowded holiday slot and into the President’s Day weekend in the U.S., with a chance to be the first foreign film released after the Chinese New Year, which is a very strong play period in the region.
So, fret not, Phoenix fans. This also gives us a chance to watch that intriguing, brooding trailer a few (million) more times.