New Mutants has been pushed off of its April 13 release date and completely out of 2018. It is now scheduled to be released on February 22, 2019. The initial reported reason behind the 10-month delay was to avoid overlapping international release windows with Deadpool 2, which moved up two weeks to May 18, 2018. As you might have guessed, there is more to it than that.
Both The Wrap and The Tracking Board report that Fox is delaying the movie to beef up the scares. Director Josh Boone has promised a heavy horror vibe, which shows in the teaser trailer. The studio, however, doesn’t think the movie is scary enough.
The Tracking Board reports that the film has tested well, but not great. Fox, excited by the success of It and Get Out last year, wants go even further with the horror elements and make the movie more frightening for audiences.
The financial viability of horror films is nothing new and I still don’t see why everyone needs an additional 10 months to accomplish this. Surely they could have completed some reshoots in time for a September or October release when people are very much in the mood to be scared. I know scary films work all year long, but there was an opportunity to double down on the horror vibe.
Something still doesn’t add up for me on this story. I won’t be surprised if we find out that another reason for this move was to ensure that even if New Mutants proves to be a solid hit, Disney is not pot committed to a sequel the studio may not want when it officially assumes ownership of Fox’s movie studio.