Fox Announces 'X-Men: Dark Phoenix' and 'Gambit' Release Date Changes

The X-Men movies are shifting release dates yet again. According to Deadline, it's been revealed that 20th Century Fox is moving the current release dates for X-Men franchise films X-Men Dark Phoenix and Gambit. The former will be moving from February 14, 2019, to a summer movie slot on June 7, 2019. The report also stated that Gambit will move from June 7, 2019 to a March 2020 date.

For X-Men: Dark Phoenix, the represents the third release date the film has been assigned; the X-Men: Apocalypse sequel was originally supposed to arrive on November 2, 2018, and was then shifted to Valentine's Day, 2019. The fact that it's now being shifted to June seems to indicate that Fox has confidence in the project being a summer movie competitor, which may or may not work out in its favor. February proved to be a massively lucrative month for Marvel Studios this past year, as Black Panther went on to earn $1.3 billion worldwide, in large part due to the fact that there was a long stretch between its initial release and any kind of considerable competition at the box office.

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A film that's on the bubble of fan hype like Dark Phoenix is, could've probably benefited from a longer runaway to earn bank; however, Blumhouse pictures recently announced that Valentine's Day 2019 would be the release window to the sequel to its successful teen slasher flick, Happy Death Day -- not to mention, Marvel has Captain Marvel arriving in theaters just a few weeks later. In other words, Dark Phoenix didn't have quite the clear February space that Fox maybe hoped it would. June will be a crowded month, with films like Avengers 4 and Godzilla 2 preceding Dark Phoenix's arrival, while the Men in Black spinoff will be arriving right after that. Avengers 4 could be a particularly pivotal determination of how X-Men: Dark Phoenix does: if that film somehow sets the stage for the X-Men's imminent arrival in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, even in the most peripharal way, how many fans would still care what happens in Dark Phoenix?

As for Gambit, Deadline states that project, which has been in development limbo for years, is still "in development," with star Channing Tatum still attached, but no director yet confirmed. At this point, though, fans probably are more tired about hearing about delays with Gambit, than they are excited for it.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix hits theaters on February 14, 2019. The New Mutants will follow on August 2, 2019.