Against seemingly all odds, The New Mutants is still scheduled to hit theaters in just over two weeks. This may be sounding like the boy who cried wolf, as the long-gestating Marvel Comics adaptation was originally supposed to hit theaters more than two years ago. However, theater owners have been alerted that the movie is indeed set to arrive on August 28. What's more, they will even be able to start selling advanced tickets next week, which signals that Disney truly intends to get this thing in front of audiences very soon.
Even as Disney has shuffled its release calendar around, with most of its big movies being bumped to much later in the year, and Mulan heading straight to Disney+, The New Mutants has stayed put. The movie, directed by Josh Boone, had been set to arrive in April, but the theater closure that started back in March made that an impossibility. Yet, amid all of the shuffling, the movie has stayed put on August 28. Despite industry expectations of another delay, Disney has sent an email to exhibitors detailing its theatrical release plans. In the email, it was explained that theaters can begin selling tickets on August 18.
This raises some fascinating questions. Right now, an estimated 1,300 screens are open in the U.S. of more than 6,000. Drive-ins have largely been propping up the box office in recent months. Most major theater chains are looking to be open by mid-to-late August. But things have been unpredictable and murky as of late. So it is unclear how many theaters The New Mutants could play on opening weekend.
Setting that aside, The New Mutants will have the distinction of being the first major blockbuster to get a wide, theatrical release following the closure. Christopher Nolan's Tenet and Mulan had been duking it out for that honor. Mulan will now go to streaming and Tenet is getting an international rollout, with a delayed release in the U.S. to follow. The movie's cast includes Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Alice Braga, Blu Hunt and Henry Zaga.
The X-Men spin-off has been plagued with delays over the years. Josh Boone and Fox clashed over the movie, which resulted in it collecting dust on a shelf until the Disney/Fox merger. Then, Disney had Boone finish up the cut, which is now finally arriving in theaters. Boone previously indicated that, contractually, the movie had to be given a theatrical release. This may explain why it hasn't simply been offered as a premium VOD title, or moved to Hulu and/or Disney+.
Even if the movie doesn't pull in huge numbers at the box office, it's a much-needed win for theater owners, with major chains facing an uncertain future. As more movies have opted for VOD releases, it has left chains with fewer new titles to bring in customers. We'll be sure to keep you posted as further details are made available. This news comes to us via Variety.