Dawn of the Planet of the Apes won't be out until this summer, but 20th Century Fox is already getting very serious about the second sequel in the rebooted Planet of the Apes franchise. One week ago it was reported that Dawn director Matt Reeves had signed a deal to direct the movie, and now the studio has given the project an official release date. Fox is now planning to get the next film in the series into theaters on July 29, 2016, a little two years after part two comes out. But that's not the only scheduling move that we've learned about today.
According to Box Office Mojo, Fox has taken today to announce some big shifts in their 2014, 2015 and 2016 lineups. In addition to the untitled third Planet of the Apes movie, the studio has also scheduled new dates for the Poltergeist remake, The Longest Ride, Night At The Museum 3, and Let's Be Cops.
After spending many, many years in development hell, the Poltergeist remake has finally come together, and is now set to come out in theaters as a bit of counter-programming on Valentine's Day weekend 2015. The film certainly has some interesting things working in its favor, including Monster House's Gil Kenan in the director's chair and a cast that includes Sam Rockwell, Jared Harris, and Rosemarie DeWitt, but it will face serious competition in the highly anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey adaptation that is coming out the same weekend.
The Longest Ride, which is the next big Nicholas Sparks adaptation, was also originally supposed to come out on February 13, 2015, but now Fox has pushed it along to April 3rd. The film doesn't currently have a director or any stars attached, but what it does have is a few new titles that it will be opening against. Focus Features' Insidious Chapter 3 will be doing its best to lure audiences away with a few spring scares, while Keanu Reeves and Rachel McAdams will have a different kind of boy-girl relationship in the sci-fi story Passengers.
Of the release date moves, the one for Shawn Levy's Night At The Museum 3 is by far the smallest. Originally Fox was planning to have the film in theaters on Christmas Day of this year, but now they will be aiming to have it ready one week earlier on December 19th. This will technically mean that it will be sharing an opening weekend with Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: There And Back Again (which will be out on December 17th) and the Annie remake, but the shift does move the film away from the Disney musical Into The Woods and Angelina Jolie's war drama Unbroken. In addition to franchise star Ben Stiller, the new sequel will also feature Ricky Gervais, Rebel Wilson, Steve Coogan, Owen Wilson, Robin Williams and Dan Stevens.
Finally there's the comedy Let's Be Cops. Directed by Luke Greenfield, the film will feature Damon Wayans Jr and Jake Johnson as a pair of ordinary guys who decide to pretend to be police officers. As interesting as that may sound, however, it would appear that Fox doesn't have too much confidence in it, setting the movie to come out in the waning days of summer on August 13th of this year. It's definitely possible that this could wind up being a late-summer surprise, but the release date makes me nervous.