You may have heard that last week Disney and Marvel Studios announced that they were moving up the release date for “Avengers: Infinity War” by an entire week, bringing it to us on April 27 instead of the originally scheduled date of May 4.
Speculation has abounded as to why Marvel made the change, but it looks like the plan is to try and give the new “Avengers” as long as possible at the top of the box office chart before other heavy-hitting movies like “Deadpool 2” and “Solo: A Star Wars Story” arrive a little later in the month.
This summer is going to be bloated with all the big, tentpole movies that were weirdly missing from 2017, just because of the way production schedules lined up, and nobody wants to have to compete with a big blockbuster.
While Marvel’s move makes sense considering the popularity of Ryan Reynolds’ first “Deadpool” movie, this sudden release date shift does feel somewhat unfair to Dwayne Johnson, who, along with his directing buddy Brad Peyton, made a little movie called “Rampage” that was once due out on April 20.
It’s clear that Marvel (or, most likely, parent company Disney) took a look at “Rampage” and “Deadpool 2” and decided that “Infinity War” was better off trying to compete with the Dwayne Johnson monster movie than the Ryan Reynolds comic book antihero film.
“Rampage” has now been pushed up a week as well, to April 13, shortening the amount of time “Ready Player One” will have as a dominant force at the box office.
Essentially, Disney is throwing its weight around, aware that no smaller movie — particularly not a film by the director of the awful “San Andreas” — can stand up to the might of the Merry Marvel Marching Society.
This isn’t entirely dissimilar to Disney’s move at the end of last year, when it put unreasonable restrictions on movie theaters that wanted to show “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Theaters had to pony up additional ticket-sale revenue, and were forced to play a certain number of screenings of the film in order to maximize profits, or else lose out on the biggest movie of the year.
Disney movies now account for a quarter of all box office revenue taken in a given year. With all this power comes the temptation to use it to further increase market share, and in instances like this, it seems that Disney is not opposed to screwing over less noteworthy films if it means making some extra money.
It’s weird to think of Dwayne Johnson as the little guy in any given scenario, but thanks to Marvel’s actions, his poor little video game monster movie will probably earn a lot less at the box office than it would have otherwise.
It’s a good thing the movie’s probably going to be terrible!