– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Delays are an inevitable part of the film industry. Delays are an inevitable part of any industry. And yet, when it comes to film, there are a lot of potential negative connotations that come along with it. When a movie gets delayed, it’s hard to go anywhere without there being rumors about ridiculous reshoots, a bum script, or a power struggle from within production.

Sometimes, the delays are a much less big deal. This seems to be the case with Alita: Battle Angel, though you’d be right to wonder why a film like this suffered not just one, but two delays. Originally, the film was set to come out earlier this year, but then it was pushed to Christmas, and now it’s set to come out this coming February. So why the change? LRM and a bunch of journalists wondered the same, and when at a roundtable at New York Comic-Con, we asked as much. Here’s what director Robert Rodriguez said:

“There wasn’t delays for anything other than we’re finishing the effects. Then this Christmas … it was going to come out on the 21st but then other films jumped on that date. It was going to be … everybody’s splitting up the pie too much where on the 14th we got all the IMAX screens. They’ve seen the movie and seen that it plays to all ages. It was always a four-quadrant movie but now I think the studio sees that. The best place to launch a franchise isn’t right there with any ones that are already franchises because you got Transformers and you got a DC movie.”

“February 14th, clear open day for families, everybody will be able to come. It’s a better place to launch a franchise. The X-Men movie was better to move it to where X-Men movies play, in the summer because that’s already an established. They realized that that was probably the best move. But we’ll already be finished by then. So it wasn’t that we’re … The original date we picked was July. We wouldn’t have been ready for July but we were going to be ready for Christmas. But I’m much happier with a … having a wide open … It’s such a big screen experience, 3D experience. You don’t want to be fighting for screens, the best 3D screens and IMAX screens. So it’s much better.”

RELATED – Alita: Battle Angel – Robert Rodriguez’s Biggest Film Has A Budget Around $150 Million

I’ll admit, when it was first announced that Alita: Battle Angel would be competing with the likes of Bumblebee and Aquaman, I wondered what Fox was thinking. They were pretty much setting up an unknown IP to die in the thick of Christmas, and while Jumanji proved that going up against Titans and coming out on top is possible, it’s not something I would have bet on.

So, when all said and done, I think this does make sense, and given how much bigger of a film this is for Rodriguez than the other work he’s done, I think this is a great move from the studio.

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.