The right release date can make or break a film. Getting a movie in front of audiences during the time that they want to see it can be the difference between box office success and failure. As a result, competition for dates can be fierce as studios have begun to stake out weekends further and further in advance in order to be sure that another studio doesn't get there first. Warner Bros. just set several new release dates for upcoming films, but they also changed some existing ones, including moving up Godzilla vs. Kong by nine weeks.
Godzilla vs. Kong was originally set to open May 22, 2020. While the date originally had been left mostly alone, recently, it was announced that Fast and Furious 9 was being pushed back from its previous April 2020 date to May 22, making some significant potential competition for the giant monster movie.
Whether Godzilla vs. Kong decided it didn't want to go head-to-head with "the family" or will just be ready to hit screens sooner than anticipated, according to Deadline, the film has now moved up the schedule and will now see release on March 13 2020.
This moves Godzilla vs. Kong out of the frequently lucrative summer movie season, but recent years have shown that blockbuster movies of a certain size can open more or less whenever they want and serious money can still be made. Venom broke the box office in October and the holiday season has seen films do as well or better as anything released in May or June.
The March date that Godzilla vs. Kong now has could still see some potential competition on opening weekend, but it's far from guaranteed. Blumhouse has been holding the date for an as yet unannounced horror project. That movie could turn out to be big but while Blumhouse has been an incredibly successful studio in recent years, they tend to release smaller movies, not the sort that you expect to compete with the likes of Godzilla vs. Kong.
The movie that could cut into the monster movie's bottom line is the other release current set for that date, the superhero movie Gambit. The question about that movie, of course, is whether or not we'll ever actually see it. The project has had its release date rescheduled more times than we can count as the movie has had a hard time finding directors. There's a perfectly reasonable chance the movie could get moved again.
And that assumes that it ever actually happens in the first place. With the Disney/Fox merger still being finalized, nothing has been decided regarding the future of the X-Men franchise that has been announced. It would surprise nobody if the movie was simply cancelled once Disney takes control because it doesn't fit with the new studio's plans for the characters. If that happens, Godzilla vs. Kong will be in great position as the only major release of the weekend.