Tomb Raider fans got exciting news earlier today when it was announced that the film reboot starring Oscar winner Alicia Vikander would hit theaters on March 16, 2018. Though video game adaptations have yet to truly breakout in the film industry, Vikander’s status as a fast-rising star gives the movie some promise, and of all the titles making their way to the big screen, Tomb Raider is arguably one of the easiest to translate. The property has already seen one hit film in the Angelina Jolie vehicle Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, which made $274.7 million worldwide.
Releasing the film in March, still a relatively uncompetitive time in the marketplace, should prove to be an advantage. Still, the selection of this window is a curious one. Tomb Raider is being distributed by Warner Bros., which of course is the home of the DC Extended Universe. The studio had previously planned on releasing The Flash in theaters in March 2018, and now it seems that their schedule will have to change – though they haven’t officially confirmed anything at this point.
It’s not out of the ordinary for studios to release projects within close proximity of each other; WB has slated Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One for March 30, 2018. What would be unorthodox is for two potential blockbusters from the same company to come out on the same exact day. For what it’s worth, Box Office Mojo no longer has The Flash listed as one of the upcoming DCEU films. That’s a clear indicator Barry Allen’s solo vehicle is in need of a new release date.
There are clear reasons why The Flash would be moved when one looks at the full 2018 release calendar. Fox has a currently untitled Marvel film on the docket for March 2, 2018, which could very well end up being Deadpool 2. Given how Deadpool performed earlier this year, it would be smart for any other comic book film to stay away from Wade Wilson’s followup (even two weeks after), especially since WB probably has high hopes for the Flash as a standout character in their franchise. Miller was one of the strongest points of the Justice League set visit, adding a layer of humor and fun to the overly-serious DCEU. If he is to be a star, WB would rather Barry Allen have some time all to himself.
As for when the studio could reschedule, there are some possibilities. There’s an untitled DCEU movie currently slated for October 15, 2018. At one point, it was thought that could be the premiere for Ben Affleck’s highly-anticipated solo Batman movie, but Affleck revealed during the set visit that he would not move forth on the project until he was happy with the script (which is still being developed). The Flash appears to be further along, with Dope helmsman Rick Famuyiwa busy doing research for the film. As WB moves things around and reorganizes, sliding Flash into that October 2018 date seems likely. No other major works are planned for release for that weekend.
While this may be disappointing for fans to consider, the silver lining is that it gives the filmmakers more time to ensure their films are as strong as they can be. Keeping the Flash’s skill set in mind, there’s likely to be a lengthy post-production process to complete the various set pieces of Barry using his abilities, so extra months to finalize special effects certainly couldn’t hurt. Audiences have high expectations for watching a speedster in action due to Quicksilver in the latest X-Men movies, meaning many will be curious to see how The Flash compares. It’s best if WB doesn’t (ahem) rush Barry Allen into theaters.
Suicide Squad is scheduled to arrive in theaters on August 5, 2016; Wonder Woman is slated for release on June 2, 2017; followed by Justice League on November 17, 2017; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020. The Flash is currently without a release date.
Source: Box Office Mojo