STX is giving its family sci-fi film The Space Between Us plenty of breathing space, blasting the Peter Chelsom-directed movie out of the fiercely crowded holiday atmosphere where it was squaring off with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16 and sending it to February 3.

This puts the movie in a position to get a leg up on the Valentine’s Day/Presidents Day period, which has become even more lucrative than before in recent years. In September, its release was moved up by five days from December 21.

stx
STX

Logline for the movie on IMDb: The first human born on Mars travels to Earth for the first time, experiencing the wonders of the planet through fresh eyes. He embarks on an adventure with a street-smart girl to discover how he came to be.

The Space Between Us provides some decent family counterprogramming to a frame where many are going after the 18-34 crowd with Paramount’s Rings, Open Road’s Collide and Blumhouse’s Tilt untitled movie. There’s also Paramount’s faith-based movie Same Kind of Different as Me. 

It’s a good move for STX. Last weekend, the distributor tried to tap upscale moviegoers and older females who might have sidestepped Warner Bros.’ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them with the James L. Brooks-produced R-rated teen comedy The Edge of Seventeen. That didn’t happen, with Beasts sucking up all the box office oxygen away from adult titles and leaving the critically acclaimed Seventeen (95% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) with an eye-smeared $4.75M opening. Through five days, Seventeen has collected $6.1M. The movie cost $9M before P&A.

On the bright side for STX this year, the company clocked its highest0grossing movie so far to date with the raunchy female summer sleeper Bad Moms, which made $179.4M worldwide.