Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 was released on August 14, 2009, and now Sony must have decided that August is the director’s lucky month. Blomkamp’s sci-fi thriller Elysium was originally scheduled for March 1, 2013, but they have now shifted it back to a nice slice of summer real estate on August 9, 2013. Elysium isn’t the only Sony SF movie that’s the target of a shifting release date. The remake of RoboCop was originally set to hit theaters on August 9th, but since Elysium has now taken that spot, Sony has pushed RoboCop back to February 7, 2014. Does a February release speak to the quality of — or Sony’s lack of confidence in — RoboCop?
Historically, January and February are the dumping grounds for movie studios. Sometimes a surprise hit will be break through, such as this year’s Chronicle, but with the name recognition of RoboCop, it’s hard to see why Sony would release RoboCop in February instead of March.
But now that Elysium has a few more months to breathe, will Sony highlight the film during San Diego Comic-Con 2013? It now seems poised to get the early buzz from the Comic-Con crowd, since Comic-Con takes place one month before the film’s release date. Then again, Sony might want to leave Elysium a mystery until its new August release date. We all saw what happened to Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Cowboys & Aliens, and Dredd 3D after Comic-Con. Despite some critical praise, all three movies under-performed in theaters after the San Diego convention.