In a (not so) surprising twist, Marvel Studios has moved the US premiere of Avengers: Infinity War from its original May 4, 2018 date to one week earlier, April 27, 2018. The announcement was made during a Twitter exchange between Robert Downey, Jr. and the official Marvel Studios Twitter account.
That’s a FANTASTIC idea! Done.
— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) March 1, 2018
The difference between the original and new release dates may merely seven days apart, but that one whole week already makes a huge difference in Infinity War’s box office performance (though it is expected to perform extremely well at the box office). Moreover, the move is a major change in the way Marvel Studios releases their films, which always takes the first weekend of May for its major outings, particularly Avengers. But why the sudden change in dates? Here are three reasons we think Marvel did it:
In other parts of the world, like the UK and Southeast Asia, Infinity War was already set to premiere a week earlier than its US counterparts, way before this announcement was made. One example is the Philippines, with the film premiering on April 25, 2018 (tickets are now available at the SM Cinema website).
Given that these countries have the privilege of seeing the film a week earlier than the original US release date, spoilers over the internet will definitely be inevitable. Especially for blockbuster hits, social media, blogs and messageboards will be rife with spoiler tags about the film. Marvel Studios has been really strict about the secrecy of Infinity War, even to the point of hiding the full script from Tom Holland during the movie’s shoot. Marvel can’t control the rest of the world like they do Spider-Man, but they can at least mitigate that by having the entire world see the film at the same time.
NO COMPETITION (SOMEWHAT)
May is one of the biggest months for movie blockbusters, and this year is no exception. Fox moved its highly-anticipated Deadpool sequel to an earlier May 18th premiere, while Solo: A Star Wars Story will hit theaters a week later, May 25th. The April 27th premiere will give Infinity War a three-week foothold at the box office before Deadpool hits, raking in huge earnings for Marvel Studios because of the lack of competition.
Remember that the first Deadpool movie broke numerous box office records, and even went on to become the highest grossing R-rated film and the highest grossing X-Men related title to date. With its stellar performance, a Deadpool sequel was automatically in the books. Fox’s bold move in shifting Deadpool 2 to May meant the studio was confident that the sequel can compete against two Disney films and not lose its box office earnings. This puts Infinity War at a disadvantage on its projected third week sales, and its spillover to the fourth week, which will then affect Solo as well (more on that later). Marvel isn’t used to the competition when it comes to the Avengers films, like for example Avengers: Age of Ultron, which ultimately monopolized the box office for at least a month after its premiere.
Naturally, no other movie would even dare to go head-to-head against these three highly-anticipated films,and if ever there would be others premiering during that month, well… good luck trying to recoup those production expenses.
NO CANNIBALIZING (THE OTHER DISNEY PROPERTY)
Apart from monopolizing the three-week performance, the move to an earlier date prevents the Infinity War from cannibalizing its other Disney film, Solo: A Star Wars Movie. Reception to the Star Wars spinoff has been mixed, due to its sudden director change and rampant reshoots, but is still projected to perform well at the box office.
However, with Infinity War expected to do well even a month after its premiere (even after taking Deadpool 2 into consideration), the original date will definitely overlap with Han Solo’s prequel outing. Interest in the Star Wars spinoff might wane, and thereby affect its first weekend earnings, which usually becomes a measure of its overall performance. Marvel Studios took the most sensible step and move its 3rd Avengers film out of Solo’s way, leaving only Deadpool 2 as the latter’s competition.
Avengers: Infinity War will premiere worldwide on April 27, 2018, by Marvel Studios. The film stars Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Pratt, Josh Brolin, and many more.