Warner Bros has planted a flag in March 2018 for one unnamed “event” movie and moved a handful of others, including the Steven Spielberg-directed Ready Player One from December 15, 2017 to March 30, 2018. That move keeps the Village Roadshow co-financed and co-produced film out of the way of Star Wars: Episode VIII, which will be released on the same date. Wise move, given how the last Star Wars mowed everything down in its wake at the box office as it broke every record in sight last year and just surpassed $900M. Currently, Universal has an untitled monster franchise movie on March 30.
By moving Ready Player One to March 2018, the studio can also take advantage of Imax plays. The new date also has the added benefit of being a four-day Easter weekend on a global basis, that falls post the Winter Olympics and prior to the 2018 World Cup which will be held in Russia. In addition, Warners said today it is moving an untitled DC film up a week from March 23, 2018 to play on Imax as well. That will now come only a week before Ready Player One, so that way the DC Comic pic will get some decent play on those premium screens.
That will come two weeks after Disney’s 3D-animated Gigantic bows in the nation’s theaters on March 9 … so it seems to be working around that as well. Also, Warners said that New Line set an untitled tentpole for April 20, 2018. There is nothing currently on that date, but Disney’s Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 comes two weeks after, so it is sandwiched in nicely.