Just a week after lifting the set visit embargo and releasing a new trailer preview, Warner Bros. is opting to shift the release of its Peter Pan re-imagining Pan from July 24th to a less-crowded October 9th. Director Joe Wright’s film—which tells the origin story of Peter Pan with Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard, Garrett Hedlund as Hook, and Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily—was poised to square off against Sony’s action-comedy Pixels, the Jake Gyllenhaal-fronted boxing drama Southpaw, and the John Green adaptation Paper Towns on its late July release date. That’s already plenty crowded, but factoring in the release of Ant-Man and Trainwreck a week before and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation a week after made Pan’s prospects of having legs less than certain.
In a statement obtained by THR, Wright cited the extra time to fine-tune the effects as a plus, and WB domestic distribution head Dan Fellman explained the main reasoning behind the move:
“We wanted to give Pan the space to extend its theatrical run, so taking it out of the cluttered summer season made the most sense. Moving the film to the heart of the fall will allow us more time to screen the picture, enabling us to capitalize on what we anticipate will be strong word of mouth.”
October isn’t devoid of competition, though. The pic will square off directly against Danny Boyle’s high-profile Steve Jobs on its October 9th release date, and will now open a week before Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies and Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak. Its biggest competition, though, will probably be the similarly family-oriented Goosebumps, hitting theaters on October 16th.
Pan remains one of my most anticipated films of the year, and I do hope that the release date shift works in its favor. If you missed our set visit coverage, be sure to check out 50 Things to Know, plus interviews with Wright and Mara, Garrett Hedlund, and Levi Miller who plays Pan.