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Godzilla Vs. Kong, Annabelle 3 Release Dates Changed

Warner Bros. has made some significant switch-a-roos on its film release schedule. 

The same time the studio stamped Space Jam 2, the LeBron James-led, Ryan Coogler-produced sequel to the 1996 live-action-animated classic, with a July 2021 debut date, Warner Bros. also swapped the launches of two of its hotly anticipated films: Godzilla vs. Kong and Annabelle 3.

Originally slated to open in theaters on May 22, 2020, Godzilla vs. Kong will now launch on March 13, 2020. Directed by Gary Dauberman, the screenwriter behind 2014's Annabelle and its 2017 sequel Annabelle: Creation, the third Annabelle movie (which doesn't yet have an official title) will also open earlier than anticipated: June 28 of this year instead of July 3. 

This news comes to us courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter

The Godzilla vs. Kong debut date move-up was likely motivated by Universal Pictures' recent dating of its yet-untitled ninth Fast and Furious film, set for release on May 22. Not wanting to compete with the insanely successful action franchise and hoping to avoid a box office battle that may see Godzilla vs. Kong lose, Warner Bros. pulled the Adam Wingard-helmed monster movie up by almost two months. 

That considered, though, Godzilla vs. Kong hasn't moved to a completely clear launch date. A mystery film from Blumhouse is scheduled to open on March 13, 2020, as is Gambit. The latter likely won't end up making its planned premiere, as all Marvel movies currently in development at 20th Century Fox are on hold until the merger between Fox and The Walt Disney Company goes through, at which point Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige will take over the franchise and do with the X-Men movies (and all the characters Disney is buying from Fox) what he pleases. There will be some push and pull between Godzilla vs. Kong and Blumhouse's horror flick, but something tells us that the MonsterVerse movie will probably reign supreme. Let's face it: more people can handle watching a gigantic lizard and a monstrous gorilla duke it out than they can stomach spooks and thrills signature of Blumhouse's fare.  

Any number of factors could have pushed Warner Bros. to change the release date for Annabelle 3, which stars The Conjuring actors Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as Ed and Lorainne Warren, but it doesn't seem that the studio was trying to avoid any potential showdowns at the cinema in shifting the film up a week. No other movie is scheduled for release on July 3, but several are on June 28 — like the survival horror sequel 47 Meters Down: Uncaged, the female-driven comedy Limited Partners, and Yesterday, the film about an aspiring singer-songwriter who wakes up in a world where no one but him knows who the Beatles are. Those other releases will definitely draw in their own unique audiences, and although 47 Meters Down: Uncaged and Annabelle 3 share some genre overlap with horror, the latter has more clout in the industry than does the still-blooming 47 Meters Down series. 

With their new release dates, both Godzilla vs. Kong and Annabelle 3 have great chances of box office success. Fingers crossed the triumphs at the theater translate to critical praise as well.