UPDATE with more release date changes: Sony Pictures has made several changes to its release schedule, moving some films and dating others for the first time. First up, The Dark Tower, the long-in-the-works adaptation of the Stephen King fantasy series, has been moved off its current February 2017 release date. It will now be released on July 28, 2017. The reason we’re hearing is two-fold: to score a summer blockbuster date for the Columbia Pictures/MRC/Imagine pic, and to give it more time to finish work on visual effects.
The July 28 slot had been held by Sony/Columbia’s Jumanji, but the distrib has now moved that to December 22, 2017, where it likely believes it will excel in a family-dominated frame. The pic starring Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan will now face off on that date against the likes of Universal’s Pitch Perfect 3, TWC-Dimension’s The Six Million Dollar Man and Fox’s The Story Of Ferdinand.
Dark Tower, the first pic in a planned series, is set in a world woven with magic and revolving around the gunslinger Roland Deschain, played by Idris Elba. He squares off against the Man In Black, played by Matthew McConaughey. Nikolaj Arcel is directing.
Sony today also shifted the Edgar Wright pic Baby Driver from March 17, 2017 to August 11, 2017 — the same corridor where Sony’s animated Sausage Party and Screen Gems’ Don’t Breathe found success this year. The comedic crime actioner stars John Bernthal, Lily James and Jon Hamm. Other pics on that date so far: Warner Bros’ CHiPs and Focus’ The Coldest City.
Newly announced released dates for Sony include Stefan Ruzowitzky’s Patient Zero, the drama/horror pic that was originally scheduled for release in 2016, will now bow in theaters February 17. Keep Watching, the game thriller starring Bella Thorne, will open March 24.
Meanwhile, Sony has pushed back Flatliners more than a month from August 18 to September 29 and will compete against Sony’s other new release, the Denzel Washington-starrer Equalizer 2, which moved up from September 29 to September 14. Also, animated pic Emojimovie: Express Yourself, shifted from August 11 to August 4 and will serve as counterprogramming to Fox’s Alien: Covenant starring Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace.
Amanda N’Duka and Anita Busch contributed to this report.