We now know what Lightstorm release was destined to open next Christmas: 20th Century Fox announced that they’re pushing Robert Rodriguez’s female manga adaptation Alita: Battle Angel to Dec. 21, which was originally being held for a title from James Cameron’s production company.  Originally, Lightstorm’s Alita was set to open this summer on July 20.

Alita will be among such pre-Christmas Day releases as Warner Bros./DC’s Aquaman, Paramount’s Bumblebee, and Sony’s comedy Holmes & Watson. Remember, there isn’t a Star Wars release this December.  On Christmas Day Tuesday Disney has Mary Poppins Returns, while 20th Century Fox still has Bohemian Rhapsody, the move that Bryan Singer was originally assigned to and fired from with director Dexter Fletcher taking over.

Also, Fox set Nov. 8, 2019 for Kenneth Branagh’s next Agathie Christie title Death on the NileThe director’s all-star Murder on the Orient Express was a surprise fall hit making close to $103M stateside, close to $350M worldwide. Disney has their female Santa Claus movie starring Bill Hader and Anna Kendrick, Nicole, opening on the same day.

In addition, Fox is moving the feature take on Alexandra Bracken’s novel The Darkest Minds from Sept. 14 to Aug. 3. The sci-fi pic stars Mandy Moore and Gwendoline Christie. Movie tells the story about a 16-year-old-girl who survives a plague, develops superpowers and joins other teen survivors such as herself. There’s a slew of wide releases on Aug. 3 and arguably no single four quad: Disney’s Christopher Robin movie, Lionsgate’s R-rated comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me, and Sony’s The Equalizer 2. 

Swapping with The Darkest Minds is The Predator which moves from Aug. 3 to Sept. 14. The alien creature will square off against Sony’s Ice Age thriller Alpha on that date.

In addition, Fox set a release date for Blue Sky Animation’s Foster for March 5, 2021. Directed by Karen Disher and Steve Martino, Foster, written by Tim Federle follows an avid reader who is transported into his favorite fantasy books. Fox originally had this date reserved for a Marvel title.