Fox has firmed up their release slate for 2018, official dating a big sequel for next year. The Predator and Alita: Battle Angel are two of the biggest releases on Fox's calendar for the year, but both have just been bumped back and will be coming out later than expected. On a more positive note, the sequel to Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile, which sees Kenneth Branagh return as both director and star, has been given a 2019 release date, which means the studio is keen on getting the next Agatha Christie adaptation going rather quickly.
Death on the Nile was announced not long after the release of Murder on the Orient Express last year. The new take on Agatha Christie's famous murder novel wound up being a rather sneaky hit at the box office, bringing in $349 million worldwide, working from a $55 million budget. That represents a nice return for Fox, which is why they're likely so eager to get Death on the Nile in motion. Those who are ready to see Hercule Poirot and his legendary mustache back in action will be able to do so on November 8, 2019. That puts the release exactly two years after the release of Murder on the Orient Express.
Moving on to The Predator, Fox has delayed the release of Shane Black's upcoming sequel/reboot again. When the new Predator movie was first announced, it was supposed to come out this month, but that was delayed to August 3 some time ago. Now, Fox has shifted The Predator to September 14. That's not necessarily cause for panic. The movie is undergoing some reshoots and in its original release date, it would have been going up against The Equalizer 2, assuming that movie actually comes out on time. Strategically, moving The Predator to September could make for a better take at the box office, but much of that will depend on how the movie actually turns out.
The only real marketing we've seen for The Predator thus far is a motion poster and, though not confirmed, we heard word of some mixed response to an early test screening. But the reshoots could address that. As for Alita: Battle Angel, which comes from director Robert Rodriguez and producer James Cameron, the release date has been bumped back by five months from July 20 to December 21. Again, not necessarily time to hit the panic button, but that is a pretty significant delay. Alita: Battle Angel comes with an absolutely massive production budget in the $200 million range and has franchise potential, but it's got some stiff competition with this release date shift.
Warner Bros. is releasing Aquaman on the same day and Paramount has their Transformers spin-off Bumblebee coming out on that date as well. All three of those movies could open a big weekend on their own, but having all of them come out on the same day could make it so the movies sort of cannibalize one another. It's very likely that one of these movies will shift their release date, but since Fox just moved Alita, we're guessing, if anything, it will be either Aquaman or Bumblebee that shifts.