Warner Bros. Shifts 'Ready Player One' Away from 'Star Wars: Episode VIII'
by Brad Brevet
February 9, 2016
Warner Bros. has adjusted their release schedule following Disney's decision a few weeks ago to move Star Wars: Episode VIII from May 26, 2017 to December 15, 2017. The move put the next episode in the Star Wars saga directly opposite Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Ernest Cline's Ready Player One, which left WB no choice but to search for a new date. As it turns out, they decided March 2018 would pretty much be all theirs.
Ready Player One is now set for a March 30, 2018 release date where it will currently face off against one of Universal's upcoming Monster Universe films, believed to be the new incarnation of The Wolf Man.
The studio previously had what they're referring to as an Untitled DC Film (though largely believed to be Untitled DC Film) set for a March 23 release, but with the decision to move Ready Player One into the same month they've moved Untitled DC Film forward to March 16, 2018. This gives the studio two weeks of breathing room, but their March 2018 slate doesn't end there.
If you thought two large films within two weeks of one another was a lot, Warner Bros. has also added two new untitled features to their slate and by the sounds of it they aren't small. The first is an Untitled WB Event Film set for March 2, 2018, then, three weeks after Ready Player One, the studio will release an Untitled New Line Tentpole on April 20, 2018. This means a new DC Universe film and a new Steven Spielberg sci-fi feature will be bookended by an "event" film and a tentpole feature. The marketing bill on those four movies won't be small.
Warner also shifted a couple release dates yesterday, setting Will Smith's Collateral Beauty for December 16, 2016, a date that was previously occupied by the studio's Chicken Soup for the Soul, which is now expected to hit theaters in 2017. The positioning of Collateral Beauty, which co-stars Naomie Harris, Helen Mirren, Edward Norton and Michael Pena, puts it up against Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which will make for an interesting case of counter-programming as the first Star Wars spin-off takes the stage.
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