“Every legend has a beginning,” the posters for Pan promise, but now that beginning won’t be until October 9.
“We wanted to give Pan the space to extend its theatrical run, so taking it out of the cluttered summer season made the most sense,” said Warner Bros. head of distribution Dan Fellman, explaining why Pan was being whisked away from a release date of July 24 to the Neverland of October. “Moving the film to the heart of the fall will allow us more time to screen the picture, enabling us to capitalize on what we anticipate will be strong word of mouth.”
To put it another way, Warner Bros. would like Pan to come out at a time when families take their kids to see movies, as opposed to July, when theaters are filled with “big kid” movies where shit gets blown up. Warner Bros. already has a bunch of “big-kid”movies on its summer calendar, starting with Mad Max: Fury Road on May 15. The family-movie quota was also being met in the form of (non-mad) Max on June 26.
The reschedule allows Pan to nimbly flee the clutches of Ant-Man, Trainwreck, Pixels, and Southpaw. By October 9, the legend can begin in peace, only having to cross swords with Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs biopic and Kidnap, which stars Halle Berry as the mother of a boy who is abducted. Extra room on the calendar will allow for more effects work, and will presumably give Hugh Jackman the time he needs to recover from whatever illness left him so sickly while playing Pan’s Blackbeard before he has to promote the film.