Despite an all-star cast and phenomenal trailers, The New Mutants has long seemed like a doomed effort for the now-dead X-Men franchise. The release date for the final film in the old Fox series has been delayed on numerous occasions for all sorts of different reasons, from rumored reshoots to Disney's purchase of 20th Century Fox. It's most recent move came just a few weeks ago, when Disney took it off the schedule entirely, removing it from its April 3rd release date due to the coronavirus pandemic shutting down theaters. With this last delay, and current TBD release date, it may seem like all is lost for The New Mutants. But what if it's not?
Delays are rarely a good thing, especially when a film has been pushed back as many times as The New Mutants has. However, this last delay may actually be good news for the teenage horror flick. As far as we all know, The New Mutants has no connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it's a part of a franchise that has already stopped existing. Disney could easily drop The New Mutants on digital on-demand, or even send it straight to Hulu. Most fans have openly wondered why the Mouse hasn't done so already. Why keep holding on to this film that make-believe box office experts on Twitter believe claim is dead on arrival?
Because Disney believes The New Mutants is a movie worth releasing in theaters. This studio is sending Artemis Fowl, a $100M+ young adult adaptation, directly to its Disney+ streaming service, where people can watch it for free. The same thing could easily be done with The New Mutants, but Disney continues to strive for a theatrical release.
If you haven't paid attention to the box office at all over the last few years, there's a really interesting trend that warrants a mention here because it directly affects the release of New Mutants. PG-13 horror films tend to do incredibly well. Most of them don't cost a ton of money to make, but young audiences flock to them because they provide a few scares and the teens are actually allowed to buy tickets for themselves. Blumhouse has literally built an empire on the backs of this very audience.
Teenagers who have never heard of the X-Men will go see The New Mutants, strictly because the trailers seemed eerie and showed off a few screams. Then you've got the added bonus of X-Men fans, who will be seeing the movie regardless of how and when it's released. With those two built-in audiences combined, and a budget lower than most other comic book adaptations, The New Mutants has the opportunity to make some money. The best news of all is that Disney is well aware of this potential.
So don't complain that The New Mutants isn't on Hulu yet. And don't flood Twitter with your bad takes about how The New Mutants is destined to fail. In the case of The New Mutants vs. the pandemic, no news is good news. Let's just be patient.
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