Warner Brothers scheduled the release date for one of its upcoming tentpole movies, and moved a couple of sequels up to give them more room to breathe at the box office. The studio has locked in a release date for ‘Space Jam 2‘, and has shifted ‘Godzilla Vs. Kong’ and the next untitled ‘Annabelle/Conjuring’ film.
First up, WB has scheduled ‘Space Jam 2’ to open on July 16, 2021, a spot that the studio had previously staked out for “Untitled WB Event Film.” Los Angeles Lakers Forward LeBron James stars, along with a menagerie of animated Looney Toons. ‘Black Panther’s Ryan Coogler is producing, with Terence Nace (HBO’s ‘Random Acts of Flyness’) directing.
James’ company SpringHill Entertainment made the announcement via Twitter, along with a look at the first poster:
— SpringHill Ent. (@SpringHillEnt) February 22, 2019
Though ‘Space Jam 2’ isn’t facing any direct competition, a new ‘Indiana Jones’ movie is scheduled to open the weekend prior, and the next ‘Mission: Impossible’ movie is set for the weekend after. Personally, I wouldn’t hold my breath regarding the new ‘Indiana Jones’. And as far as ‘Mission: Impossible’, the most recent films in that series have opened in the less competitive late summer frame, and dominated. I wouldn’t be surprised if that gets pushed back a month.
In a more immediate move, the next untitled ‘Annabelle/Conjuring’ film has been shifted up one week to June 28, 2019. It had previously been scheduled for July 5, opposite Sony/Marvel’s ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’. It will now compete with another thriller, the shark cage sequel ’47 Meters Down: Uncaged’, and an untitled James Mangold movie.
Finally, ‘Godzilla Vs. Kong’ is stomping up nine whole weeks, from its original release date of May 22, 2020, to March 13. In its old slot, it would have been opening opposite the ninth ‘Fast & Furious’ movie and Nickelodeon’s ‘SpongeBob Movie’. In its new position, the only movie it is scheduled to go up against is an untitled horror movie from Universal and Blumhouse. (Okay, technically, Fox still has ‘Gambit’ scheduled for that weekend, but…) This marks the third release date shuffle for ‘Godzilla Vs. Kong’, which had previously been marked for May 29, 2020.
A move forward is rarely a bad thing. The only possible problem could be the fact that ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ opens on May 31 of this year, meaning that ‘Godzilla Vs. Kong’ will arrive less than a year later. That may not be an issue, but “audience fatigue” has been blamed for other sequels/franchise movies underperforming in the past.
“Yeah. He’s got plenty of freedom to sort of play around with how he wants and to play around with … I always joke that my Kong was kind of like a character in a Shane Black movie in the sense that he just gets beat the fuck up by the end of the movie. He’s just battered and scarred, and so he’s got that kind of reluctant protagonist vibe to him. I think Adam’s willing to take that anime thing and do what he needs to do as he squares off with Godzilla.”
To review, the next untitled ‘Annabelle/Conjuring’ picture opens on June 28, 2019, ‘Godzilla Vs. Kong’ on May 22, 2020, and ‘Space Jam 2’ on July 16, 2021. Mark your calendars! Which of these movies are you most excited for?