Fox has just moved the release date of Deadpool 2 to May 18th, which puts the R-Rated superhero sequel in a uniquely crowded window: Marvel releases Avengers: Infinity War on May 4th, while Lucasfilm will release it's latest Star Wars standalone, Solo: A Star Wars Story on May 25th.
While no one questions Marvel Studios keeping its Avengers 3 release date set in stone, there is fair amount of leeway to ask and wonder: will Lucasfilm change its release date for Solo: A Star Wars Story? Here are the pros and cons of that hypothetical decision.
Why It Won't Change
As of now, Disney/Lucasfilm has no reason to alter Solo's release date. The fact of the matter is that there weeks separating Solo from both Infinity War and Deadpool 2, and the summer box office is always a week-to-week battle between major blockbusters. Even if Solo doesn't face off against Deadpool 2, it will have competition in whatever summer date it chooses.
More to the point: Solo isn't at all the same type of movie that Deadpool 2 is. One's a comedic Star Wars adventure for the whole family; the other is an R-Rated superhero comedy/action flick. While they definitely have overlap in their respective demographic appeal, they also cater to distinctly different types of audiences.
Finally: for the cynical-minded fans: there's no conspiracy reasoning to say that Disney would stack May with its blockbuster lineup, as the studio doesn't own Deadpool 2, in light of the Fox/Disney acquisition.
Why It Might Change
On the other hand, there are some good incentives for Lucasfilm to move Solo's release date.
For one thing, there's now a nice big vacant slot on the June 1st date, which Solo could easily occupy. That would make Deadpool 2 its only lead-in competition (and we've discussed how they have different appeal), while giving Solo a nice two-week run before direct competition arrives in the form of Pixar's Incredibles 2 on June 15th. Ocean's Eight is the big released on June 8th, which wouldn't give Solo nearly as much direct interference. That could be important, if Lucasfilm has less-than-stellar confidence in Solo's chances at the box office.
More importantly, taking the later release date gives Lucasfilm extra time to work on Solo. Production and post have had to move at an increased pace, ever since director Ron Howard replaced former directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord last summer. When trying to get a film in on deadline, even an extra week can make a huge difference.
Deadpool 2 now hits theaters on May 18th; Solo: A Star Wars Story arrives on May 25th (at least for now...).