“Dark Phoenix” writer-director Simon Kinberg has broken his silence to Collider regarding the latest release date change for his new “X-Men” movie. 20th Century Fox announced September 28 it was pushing back “Dark Phoenix” from its February 14, 2019 release date to June 7, 2019, which worried fans, as the news hit just a day after the film’s first trailer was released. That trailer even touted the movie’s February 14 opening.
“[The trailer] certainly probably shouldn’t have said February 14 on it, but the audience — and certainly I know this because I live online as much as anybody — people wanted to see something from the movie, and it was time to share something from the movie,” Kinberg said. “So I would’ve still released a teaser when we released it, I just would’ve put ‘Coming Soon’ on the end of it.”
Kinberg mentioned that no decision had been made about the release when the trailer went live on September 27. Deadline’s exclusive report on the release date change mentioned Fox was trying to take advantage of China’s box office by moving “Dark Phoenix” to June, which is something Kinberg echoed while trying to explain the release shuffle.
“We looked at [the June] date versus the February 14 date, the studio did and we did, we felt like that June date was a bigger opportunity for us globally,” Kinberg said. “More screens, more IMAX screens, a better chance to play in China where these movies have a massive following. What we found when we released the trailer was that 44-45 million views of the trailer were in China alone. Specific for us, it is an opportunity to be a bigger movie day-and-date globally.”
Kinberg noted that Fox originally had the “X-Men” movie “Gambit” scheduled for June 7, 2019. When it was clear that film would not be ready, Fox made the decision to fill the slot with “Dark Phoenix” and give the February 14 date to Robert Rodriguez’s “Alita: Battle Angel,” which was originally going to go up against “Aquaman” and “Bumblebee” this Christmas.
“Dark Phoenix” was first announced to be released on November 2, but Fox moved the date to February so the film could undergo reshoots. Kinberg explained the specifics of the reshoots to Collider.
“Mostly we focused on the third act, both emotionally and in terms of the physical scale and the action of the third act that we adjusted,” Kinberg said. “And then there were certain things in the first two acts of the movie — very few things, but to set up those changes in the third act we had to adjust some things in the first two acts so that that all was fluid and felt consistent.”
20th Century Fox will release “Dark Phoenix” nationwide June 7.