The Space Between Us looks like a cross between The Martian and another YA novel adaptation come to life. It tells the story of the first human boy (Asa Butterfield) to be born on Mars, who travels to Earth for the first time as a teenager. He inevitably meets a street smart girl (Britt Robertson) that will help him learn Earth’s ways, despite being challenged by his new setting. It seems like family-friendly science fiction fit for the holiday season. However, it seems STX Entertainment doesn’t want to the film to be overlooked in the wake of another sci-fi holiday season offering – Rogue One: A Star War Story.
There have been multiple trailers claiming a certain release date for The Space Between Us, as it was originally intended to be a summer 2016 release. Now, in an attempt to ensure this modestly-budgeted feature does not get lost in the holiday shuffle, The Space Between Us is now setup to launch next year.
According to Deadline, The Space Between Us will now be opening on February 3, 2017. That puts the Peter Chelsom-directed film out of the path of the Death Star and into the weekend before the Valentine’s Day/Presidents Day period. It will be good counter-programming as the film will go up against Paramount’s Rings (assuming it actually sees the light of day) and their faith-based film Same Kind of Different As Me, Open Road’s Collide and an untitled film from Blumhouse Tilt.
This is not the first move for The Space Between Us. As mentioned, the film was originally going to be a summer release, before STX decided to switch it out with Bad Moms (which became the studio’s highest grossing film yet). That still left the film with an August release date, only for it to be moved again December 21, in an effort to allow more time for its visual effects to be refined. That date then became December 16, but it seems as if STX learned a lesson last weekend when putting their very well-reviewed, R-rated teen comedy, The Edge of Seventeen, up against Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
While there should still be some concern as to whether or not the film is any good, this does seem like a smart move from a business perspective. Keeping The Space Between Us away from much more notable films by sacrificing the box office legs that holiday releases tend to have could be a risky bet, but the placement of a sci-fi teen romance could benefit from being more in the clear and nearer to Valentine’s Day weekend. The Space Between Us trailers make the film seem a little cheesy, but the presence of Gary Oldman, Carla Gugino and B.D. Wong as cast members lends the film more credibility, as a whole.