Back in the day, most of the big American movie releases came to the UK a lot later, with gaps of months before fans over here could see films like Star Wars or other big Hollywood blockbusters.
However, in more recent years age these gaps have been getting shorter and shorter, with many big films – including most of Marvel’s superhero movies and the Star Wars franchise – released in the UK on the day of or even a day before the US release.
It’s a happier, more equitable time – at least until this summer. In July, UK fans will be forced to wait a whole month to see the next Marvel film after Avengers: Infinity War.
Yep, that’s right – while Ant-Man and the Wasp (which has just released a new trailer) will be released in the US on 3rd July, it won’t be released in UK cinemas until 3rd August. In a world of instant internet reaction, that means we have a long, spoiler-filled July ahead of us.
Sure, Ant-Man and the Wasp is unlikely to reach Infinity War levels of spoiler danger, but we’d be surprised if the film didn’t advance that film’s story at all, even if it’s just in a post-credits scene. And if there is a post-credits tease about the action of Avengers 4 (which, let’s face it, there probably will be), it’s going to be nearly impossible to avoid finding out what happens.
Hell, people are already tweeting entire plot spoilers for Infinity War, and that’s not even been out a week yet. US audiences will be merrily discussing Ant-Man and the Wasp for a whole month, while UK fans glumly press their noses up against metaphorical glass and wonder whether a return ticket to New Jersey would be worth the expense after all.
Disney have not confirmed why the film is getting such a late release.
It could possibly be related to the World Cup taking place from June until mid July and keeping a lot of potential audiences occupied.
Alternatively, the delay could be drawn from the fact that Disney’s other big superhero release this summer – long-awaited Pixar sequel The Incredibles 2 – is only released in the UK in mid-July, leading the House of Mouse to try and give audiences more time to see it before unleashing their next assault on the multiplexes.
But wouldn’t that Incredibles clash be the same in the US anyway? Well, actually there is already a big delay between the US and UK releases of The Incredibles 2 – Pixar is one of the only studios that still releases in the US a lot earlier than the UK, and The Incredibles 2 is out on 2nd June there. It’s possible this has created a domino effect where Ant-Man has had to be shifted to best maximise the two films.
The Incredibles probably also gets priority, as Ant-Man and the Wasp isn’t exactly the biggest of Marvel’s franchises (pun very much intended).
Whatever the truth behind the delay, in a fan base where online reaction is key it’s hard to imagine UK audiences getting super-excited about a Marvel film that will already be old news before it’s even released.
Of course, we may be wrong about this, and it could be that Ant-Man and the Wasp will be an even bigger hit over here thanks to weeks of positive buzz (again, pun intended). Either way, we just hope this retro moviegoing experience doesn’t become the new normal. Our Twitter habits can’t take it.
Ant-Man and the Wasp will be released in UK cinemas on 3rd August