A handful of major studios, including 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, and The Weinstein Company, have shuffled around their upcoming film slate a bit, setting new dates for such noteworthy projects as the sequels Independence Day 2 and Hot Tub Time Machine 2; the action series reboots Hitman: Agent 47 and The Transporter Legacy; and a few other miscellaneous projects, on the side.
First up, Fox has moved Independence Day 2 up a week to June 24th, 2016. Director Roland Emmerich's sequel, which actor Jeff Goldblum recently confirmed is still being actively developed, will no longer open during the Fourth of July holiday frame like its predecessor did in 1996; instead, the alien invasion tentpole will face the Mummy reboot in its first weekend.
Admittedly, the overall competition is lighter that day than on July 1st, so the shift may help the Independence Day sequel to gain some additional momentum heading into the holiday frame. Emmerich's film will no doubt stir up feelings of nostalgia when it arrives on the original ID4's 20th anniversary, which should also help its box office performance in the current age of event movies and big-budget franchise offerings.
Meanwhile, Fox has pushed Agent 47 all the way back from February 27th, 2015 to August 28th next year. It's not the most shocking move, as the video game adaptation seems more befitting of a summertime launch anyway. Not to mention, Fox still has the Mark Millar comic adaptation Kingsman: The Secret Service arriving in February next year, so now the Hitman reboot won't have to compete with director Matthew Vaughn's movie for the attention of action cinema lovers that month.
Having said that, a late August launch for Agent 47 doesn't inspire loads of confidence in the project, either in terms of it being a respectable addition to the video game film genre or its box office prospects. Its only direct competition (at the time of writing this) is the Ethan Hawke/Emma Watson crime thriller Regression, so we'll see have to wait and see if this second attempt at starting a Hitman movie franchise goes better than the first one.
Elsewhere, Paramount and The Weinstein Company have pulled Hot Tub Time Machine 2 and Paddington, respectively, from their originally planned Christmas 2014 release dates. The Hot Tub Time Machine sequel ought to fare better on its new February 20th, 2015 release date, where the raunchy comedy will provide a funny alternative to the gritty dramatic thriller The Gunman and the Natalie Portman western/historical drama Jane Got a Gun.
The winter holiday frame is especially competitive when it comes to family-friendly material this year (see: Annie, Into the Woods, etc.), so the Weinsteins' decision to shift Paddington - a new big screen adaptation of the beloved British children's literature character - to a far less jam-packed January 16th, 2015 launch pad, seems perfectly reasonable. The movie will now serve as counter-programming to the Chris Hemsworth thriller Blackhat and the Kevin Hart comedy The Wedding Ringer in mid-January next year.
In other release date news:
- EuropaCorp's The Transporter Legacy - a reboot of the Transporter franchise that replaces Jason Statham with Ed Skrein (Daario Naharis on Game of Thrones season 3) - has taken Agent 47's old spot on February 27th, 2015.
- Paramount's Scouts vs. Zombies, a horror/comedy from Paranormal Activity series writer (and The Marked Ones director) Christopher Landon, has been moved back from February 20th, 2015 to October 30th next year, where it aims to take advantage of the Halloween season demand for scary entertainment.
- Sony/Columbia has moved up the Untitled Seth Rogen/Joseph Gordon-Levitt X-Mas Movie from December 11th to November 25th next year. The comedy will now hit theaters during the same Thanksgiving holiday frame as such films as Ridley Scott's space survival drama The Martian and Pixar's upcoming original animated feature The Good Dinosaur.
Feel free and let us know in the comments section which (if any) of these movies are up your alley. We'll continue to keep you updated on their status, as more information is made available.
Paddington opens in U.S. theaters on January 16th, 2015, followed by Hot Tub Time Machine 2 on February 20th, 2015, The Transporter Legacy on February 27th, 2015, Hitman: Agent 47 on August 28th, 2015, Scouts vs. Zombies on October 30th, 2015, the Untitled Seth Rogen/Joseph Gordon-Levitt X-Max Movie on November 25th, 2015, and Independence Day 2 on June 24th, 2016.