Release Date Change
A trailer or poster announces a film's release date, but before its release, the date is pushed either back or forward due to circumstances either to avoid competition, a change in the production schedule or for being in bad taste in light of tragic events
Not to be confused with Trailer Delay
, where Development Hell
causes a big gap in the original and final release dates. Anything victim of The Shelf of Movie Languishment
is a victim of this.
Anime and Manga
- The U.S. release of Pokémon: The First Movie was scheduled for November 12, 1999, but ended up getting bumped two days ahead.
- On the topic of Pokémon, this page shows how a few episode of the show would have been scheduled had the incident involving "Electric Soldier Porygon" didn't happen.
- Wreck-It Ralph was originally scheduled for March 22, 2013, but was bumped ahead to November 2, 2012 because production went ahead of schedule.
- South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut was originally set for release for June 18, 1999, but was then moved later to July 17 and back again. It bounced to June 11 to July 2 before its final release date of June 30.
- Meet the Robinsons was to have been released on December 15, 2006 but it got pushed to March 30, 2007.
- Shrek 2 was to have been released in June 2004, but it got bumped to May 21 before its final date of May 19.
- The Land Before Time was originally going to be released in the fall of 1987, but it was delayed by a year due to the relocation of Sullivan Bluth Studios to Ireland.
- A Goofy Movie was originally going to be released in November 1994, but due to production delays at Walt Disney Animation France, it was moved to April 1995 and The Lion King was re-released to fill the gap in Disney's release schedule.
- Mr. Bug Goes to Town was originally going to be released to theaters sometime in the fall of 1941, but it was moved to December to avoid competition with Dumbo. Unfortunately, it's release date was a mere two days before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which contributed to its failure.
- The CGI adaptation of Mr. Peabody and Sherman was supposed to be released on November 8, 2013, but got moved to March 7, 2014.
- A Troll in Central Park was originally scheduled for release in March 1994, but production difficulties postponed it until October.
- Recess: School's Out was originally scheduled for July 2000, but due to Disney fearing competition from Pokémon 2000, the movie was moved to February 2001.
- The Fox and the Hound was originally going to be released in late 1980, but it got pushed back to July 1981 due to the departure of Don Bluth and his team from Disney.
- The Black Cauldron was originally scheduled for Christmas 1984, but was delayed to July 1985 due to Executive Meddling revising and editing the film to make the film less dark and scary.
- The special edition of Beauty and the Beast (with the new "Human Again" sequence) was supposed to be released during the 1998 holiday season, but it was delayed due to competition from animated films like A Bug's Life and The Prince of Egypt. It was then scheduled for Spring 1999, but it was too delayed due to the decision to move Doug's 1st Movie from direct-to-video to a theatrical release. It was then moved to the 1999 holiday season, but this time it was delayed due to competition, including Toy Story 2. It was finally released on IMAX screens in 2002.
- And then there was the 3-D reissue. Originally scheduled for February 12th, 2010, Disney pulled it from the schedule and released it on Blu-ray instead. After The Lion King had a successful run in 3-D, the 3-D version finally went to theatres on January 13th, 2012.
- The English dub of the South Korean film Dino Time was originally announced to be released in the US on December 7, 2012, but as of summer 2013 it still hasn't been released.
- With the hype over Jurassic World, it's been released in the US on a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack and retitled Back to the Jurassic.
- In the UK it was released on DVD only, still with the original title.
- Pixar's The Good Dinosaur was shelved from May 2014 to November 2015 after director Bob Peterson left the project. As a result, Finding Dory was moved to June 2016 and Maleficent was pushed back to fill in the gap left by The Good Dinosaur. This delay caused the Pixar short Party Central, which was going to accompany The Good Dinosaur, to be released with Muppets Most Wanted in March 2014.
- Hoodwinked 2 was going to be released in 2010 (with fast food toys appearing before the movie was even released), but was pushed back until Spring 2011.
- DreamWorks Animation's Home was scheduled for November 2014 and Penguins of Madagascar was aimed at March 2015 before the films swapped dates.
- The Sponge Bob Movie Sponge Out Of Water was originally planned for a late 2014 release (possibly to coincide with the show's 15th anniversary and the first movie's 10th anniversary), but was then pushed to February 13, 2015, and then pushed again to February 6, 2015 in order to avoid competition with Fifty Shades of Grey. The irony is that one of the posters for the movie parodies Fifty Shades of Grey. And then these two incidents happened when it came out.
- A trailer for The Rescuers (seen on the VHS of The Lion King II: Simba's Pride) promised a video release on November 20, 1998. It would eventually get released on January 5, 1999 (and then recalled and re-released that March because of the "breast" controversy).
- Cars was originally supposed to be released on November 4, 2005, but it was changed to June 9, 2006.
- Chicken Little was originally supposed to be released on July 1, 2005, but it was pushed back to November 4.
- Shrek the Third was originally going to be released in November 2006, but it was changed to May 2007.
- Toy Story 4 was originally scheduled for June 15, 2018 while The Incredibles 2 was targeted at June 21, 2019, before Pixar switched the films' dates.
- Barnyard and The Ant Bully were set to be released on July 28 and August 4 2006, respectively. Some time prior to the first, their release dates got switched around.
- The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature was supposed to be released on May 19, 2017, but was moved to August 11, 2017 because of competition from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Like Hoodwinked!, kids' meal toys were given away months prior to the film's release at Hardee's as a result.
- Aladdin almost made its Blu-ray and Digital HD debut in Spring 2013, with the Lady and the Tramp 2012 Diamond Edition BD even including an ad for it. However, after Disney decided to release Peter Pan in HD in February 2013 (the month of its 60th anniversary), Walt Disney Home Video's US branch pushed back Aladdin's HD release date, to October 2015. The UK branch still released Aladdin on Blu-ray in Spring 2013, with different cover art and bonus features than the US BD would eventually receive.
- A Thousand Words was filmed in 2008 and scheduled for release in 2009, but the DreamWorks/Paramount Pictures split caused it to be delayed repeatedly. It was finally released on March 9, 2012.
- Ted was originally scheduled for release on July 13, 2012, but got pushed ahead to June 29 to avoid competition with Ice Age: Continental Drift and following the delay of G.I. Joe: Retaliation.
- The sixth Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, was originally slated for November 21, 2008, but Warner Bros. moved it to July 15, 2009, some said it was because of the WGA Strike of 2008. Though that turned out to be false, the real reason was that Warner Bros. realized they didn't have a big tentpole film for the summer, since The Dark Knight had already been a huge hit, they didn't need another big film for 2008, so they moved the film to summer 2009 fill the void. Needless to say fans were pissed.
- Iron Eagle was originally supposed to be released in the summer of 1986, but it got moved up six months to avoid direct competition with Top Gun.
- The 2013 remake of Carrie was pushed back from March to October of that year. The studio's explanation was that releasing a big horror movie around Halloween made more sense than releasing it in March; director Kimberly Peirce's explanation was that the Sandy Hook massacre necessitated the change.
- Muppets from Space was intended to be released around February 2000, but Sony wanted it to be one of their big summer movies for 1999, giving the film less time to advertise.
- The Interview was planned to be released on Christmas Day 2014, but it is now indefinitely shelved after computer hacks and terrorist threats, apparently from North Korea (due to its plot about assassinating Kim Jong-Un) targeting Sony Pictures — and all theaters that dared to screen the film — with retaliation should it be released.
- Which was then subverted in a way when it went into limited release in select independent theaters on the intended date, with the film also available for streaming on sites like YouTube and Google Play the day before.
- Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit was supposed to be released on Christmas 2013, but was pushed back to January 2014 in favor of The Wolf of Wall Street.
- J. J. Abrams' Star Trek reboot was originally slated to be released in Christmas 2008, but was pushed back to May 2009 probably finding a summer release more profitable.
- Jupiter Ascending was originally scheduled for July 2014, but two months before its intended release, Warner Bros. pushed it back to February 2015 so as to give the production crew enough time to work on the film's visual effects.
- The Last Airbender was going to be released on July 2, 2010, but was moved up one day to July 1.
- Monster Trucks was one of the most extreme cases, although the effects helped post-production take a lot. Filmed in 2014, the release date was changed four times, ultimately settling for January 2017 - i.e. the very definition of a Dump Month.
- X-Men was first set for Christmas 2000, but it got the June release date that would be of Minority Report once Steven Spielberg delayed that for A.I., forcing production to roll six months ahead of schedule. The release date was then moved to July 14.
- Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation was originally slated for Christmas 2015. However, another spy movie in November (James Bond, no less!) and extended hype for another December release, The Force Awakens, made Paramount push it forward to July.
- The second Kire book was set to be released 20th of August 2015 but came out 6 days earlier.
- Star Trek was originally supposed to premiere on September 15, 1966, as shown in this surviving NBC promo. The week of September 12-18 was planned to be the premiere week of the 1966-67 season across all three networks, but NBC (in an effort to get a leg up on the competition) pushed several shows, including Star Trek, to air a week in advance (as can be seen in this surviving advertisement◊ from TV Guide). As a result, Star Trek premiered on September 8 - or, in Canada, on September 6. (CTV had been planning to air Star Trek on the 13th and simply pushed it up a week when NBC did.)
- An episode of Haven was originally going to air in December 2012, but it was pulled in in light of the Sandy Hook shooting due to the episode featuring high school violence and later aired the following month.
- The première of 24 was originally going to be on October 30, 2001, but was put back a week as a result of the aerial attacks in New York, New York and Arlington, Virginia in September of that year.
- Super Sentai series Shuriken Sentai Ninninger was originally advertised to start on 15 February 2015, but ended up premiering on 22 February because the penultimate episode of it's predecessor, Ressha Sentai Tokkyuger was pre-empted for news coverage about Islamic State militants murdering a Japanese journalist.
- Marvin Marvin was originally supposed to premiere in 2013, but it was pushed ahead to November 24, 2012.
- This happened with three PBS Kids shows in the 1998-99 fall season: The Noddy Shop was supposed to premiere in June 1998 and Teletubbies was supposed to premiere in September of 1998, but when Teletubbies became a Sleeper Hit in the United Kingdom, PBS moved the premiere to April 1998, and The Noddy Shop moved into the September 1998 slot that Teletubbies originally occupied. Zoboomafoo was also slated for a September 1998 premiere, but the show instead premiered in January 1999.
- Ridiculously common in music. Some albums will have their release dates advanced if the lead single becomes a hit right out of the gate; others will have the release date moved down if the lead single fails to take off.
- The Disney Channel was originally to launch on April 11, 1983, but it was moved to a week later so it won't provide competition for that year's Academy Awards ceremony.
- G4TV was going to become the Esquire Network on April 22, 2013, but the rebranding was moved to later that summer so the network can have more original series upon its launch. However, plans were changed so that G4 got removed on January 2014 and the Esquire Network took over the Style Network on September 23, 2013.
- The Ring of Honor\Combat Zone Wrestling feud had roots in the very founding of the former company but was kicked off by a venue favoring ROH during a double booking and moving CZW's show from the evening to the afternoon, making this an example of release hour change.
- CMLL infamously pushed forward the date of it's 82nd Aniversario only to quickly have to then move it back to the original date due backlash from fans on their premises and online.
- South Park: The Stick of Truth was scheduled for April 2013, but after THQ went bankrupt, Ubisoft took over production. Then it was set for a Fall/Winter release, until being delayed to March 4, 2014.
- Rayman Legends was originally going to come out in February 2013 exclusively on Wii U, but thanks to the console's low sales and ZombiU not selling as well as expected, Ubisoft decided to port the game to other platforms as well, which pushed the release date back to September. This made many fans angry because while the Wii U version was finished in time for the original release date, Microsoft's licensing policy forbids games from coming out on other platforms before they do on Xbox, necessitating the delay even on Wii U. Fans were also mad because the new release date put the game up against late-year blockbusters such as Grand Theft Auto V, as opposed to the quieter month February when it might have stood a chance of selling well. To further rub salt into the wound, the game was ported to Playstation 4 and Xbox One in early 2014, making one wonder why they didn't delay it again to coincide with the PS4/XO release.
- The North American release for The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap was moved from late 2004 to early 2005, as a way of preventing it from interfering with the DS's launch.
- Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance was originally set for a late 2012 release, but was pushed back to February 2013.
- Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and Super Mario 3D World were set to release in November and December 2013, respectively. Later, the releases were switched around, with 3D World releasing in November and Tropical Freeze in December. A few months later, Tropical Freeze was announced to be delayed until February 2014, with 3D World still meeting its November release.
- Scott Cawthon is infamous for doing this with the Five Nights at Freddy's sequels:
- Five Nights at Freddy's 2 was first hinted at with a teaser image saying "Grand Re-Opening!" with 2015 beneath it. However, then Scott decided to up to December 25th, Christmas Day. Then he decided he was going to release a demo on November 10th, but due to complications on getting it out he just decided to release the full game right then and there.
- While Five Nights at Freddy's 3 didn't have a projected release date, Five Nights at Freddy's 4 was originaly going to be released on Halloween 2015. Then Scott pushed it ahead to August 8th before ultimately releasing it on July 23rd, almost three months before he was supposed to! He did ultimately decide to keep the original date special by releasing a Halloween Edition of the game on that date, which he has so far kept to.
- The Simpsons episode "Stop or My Dog Will Shoot" was supposed to air on April 29, 2007, but due to the Virginia Tech Massacre that occurred recently, it was pushed back by two weeks. "The Boys of Bummer" was pushed ahead to air in its place.
- Also "The Father, the Son and the Holy Guest Star" was intended to air on April 10, 2005, but it was bumped ahead due to the death of Pope John Paul II. As a result, it was bumped ahead and become the season finale, while a repeat of "On a Clear Day, I Can't See My Sister" aired in its place (it was going to air later that night anyway). "The Girl Who Slept Too Little", originally scheduled for that date, was delayed until the next season.
- "Homer and Apu" was originally going to air on January 27, 1994, but the effects of the Northridge Earthquake caused production to be delayed and it was moved to February 10 (a repeat of "Dead Putting Society" aired instead).
- "My Big Fat Geek Wedding" was scheduled for April 4, 2004, but it was delayed by two weeks because the voice actors went on strike over pay cuts.
- The Family Guy episode "Jesus, Mary and Joseph" and the American Dad! episode "Minstrel Krampus" were supposed to air December 16, 2012, but both were delayed in light of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. The former was bumped ahead a week while the latter was delayed until December 2013 (due to it actually featuring gun violence). To compensate, the American Dad! episode "National Treasure 4: Baby Franny: She's Doing Well: The Hole Story" was bumped ahead.
- The Night of the Hurricane three-part special was scheduled for May 2011 was delayed due to the southern U.S. being ravaged by a tornado outbreak that killed over 300 people. The saga eventually aired in October. Ironically, this was when the effects of an ACTUAL hurricane, Irene, which hit that August, were still fresh in the mind of the people living in the general area the three shows take place.
- The episode "A Shot in the Dark" was originally to air on November 16, 2015, but was replaced by "Peter's Sister" (which was originally to air the following week) following the ISIS attacks in Paris two days prior (due to the plot of Peter shooting somebody and being charged with a hate crime), and then it got bumped again due to the San Bernadino shooting, making the final air date December 13, 2015.
- The South Park episode "Cartman's Mom is Still a Dirty Slut" was originally scheduled for May 20, 1998, but it was moved to April 22 following the negative reaction toward "Terrence & Phillip in: Not Without My Anus". The May 20 date became reserved for "Ike's Wee Wee".
- "201" was to have at encore showing at 12:00am following its premiere, but when Islamic threats caused it to be heavily censored, Comedy Central decided not to show it on TV after that, instead showing a repeat of "The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs" in the midnight slot.
- "Goth Kids 3: Dawn of the Posers" was supposed to be shown on October 16, 2013, but production was delayed by a week after a blackout at South Park Studios. A repeat of "Scott Tenorman Must Die" was shown in its place.
- The Drawn Together episode "Terms of Endearment" was going to air in November 2004, but it was pulled due to a scene satirizing the horse-riding accident that paralyzed Christopher Reeve, who died shortly before the show premiered. The show was rescheduled for January 2006, but was almost pulled again when Reeves' widow announced she had a terminal illness, though ended up airing as planned. Strangely, Comedy Central reran the episode the week she died.
- Disney's One Saturday Morning was originally going to premiere on September 6, 1997, but due to ABC covering Princess Diana's funeral, the premiere date was moved to the following week.
- The Recess Christmas Episode "Yes, Mikey, Santa Does Shave" was set to premiere on December 19, 1998. Due to ABC pre-empting One Saturday Morning for news coverage of Bill Clinton's impeachment trial, the episode had to be moved December 26, making it a rare post-Christmas Christmas Episode.
- A whole season of Star Wars Detours has already been made and it was supposed to premiere some time in 2013, but it has been delayed indefinitely. The Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm may have been a factor of the indefinite delay of Detours.
- ChalkZone was originally going to premiere in September/October 2000 after the first episode premiered on December 31, 1999 as part of Nick New Years', but for unknown reasons was delayed until March 2002. To fill in the gap, Nickelodeon began airing reruns of Pinky and the Brain in place of ChalkZone's Fall 2000 premiere.
- The KaBlam! special Life With Loopy Birthday Gala-Bration (which was produced as a stand-alone special and is not in the official episode count) was originally announced for an October 23, 1998 premiere date. For unknown reasons, Nickelodeon decided to move it up to August 7, 1998.
- Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness was originally supposed to premiere in 2010, but for unknown reasons, it was pushed back to November 2011.
- The reboot of Ben 10 has had its American premiere delayed three times from February 2, 2017 to April 2017, then from April 2017 to March 13, 2017 and from March 13, 2017 to April 2017. It finally premiered on April 10, 2017.