In a world where Marvel schedules its films five years in advance, all studios must start planning ahead. To this end, Fox has laid claim to several 2016 and 2017 release dates, probably to help minimize the risk of losing any games of “blockbuster weekend chicken.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox’s announcement includes pushing back its scheduled 2016 Planet Of The Apes sequel a full year to July 14, 2017, so don’t even think about releasing a Transformers or 007 sequel that weekend. Also in 2017, Fantastic Four 2 (the sequel to this summer’s reboot) was moved up to June 2, 2017, to make room for Apes in July, while Channing Tatum’s X-Men spinoff Gambit is slotted for October 7, 2016.
Meanwhile, now free of Apes, Fox is filling its July 29, 2016 date with the comedy Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates (possibly because the title subconsciously guilted them into it). Later that year, Assassin’s Creed will make a highly stylized, lethal swan dive from video game consoles into movie theaters on December 21, 2016, when it will attempt to extinguish the box-office life from Disney’s first standalone Star Wars film.
Soon thereafter, The Greatest Showman On Earth, a live-action musical starring Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum, will wow audiences on Christmas 2016. And Fox is betting that by 2017, star-crossed lovers will be out, and plane-crashed lovers will be in, scheduling the Charlie Hunnam/Rosamund Pike survivor romance The Mountain Between Us for February 10, just in time for Valentine’s Day.