According to Deadline, Universal Pictures made the executive decision to push back the Pacific Rim sequel by exactly one month, from February 23, 2018 to March 23, 2018. This isn’t the first time the movie’s been delayed either, originally being scheduled for April 2017 and then August 2017 before slipping into next year. At the very least, its new March date isn’t as severe a delay this time around.
As for why this decision was made, competition with Marvel is a really good guess. Black Panther is scheduled to come out February 16, 2018 and considering how extraordinarily well MCU movies perform at the box office, it’s a fairly safe bet that Black Panther will still be making tons of money a week later, on Uprising’s previous release date. And since Black Panther’s first trailer got such a great reaction, that could easily have intimidated Universal into pushing Uprising into next month (and rightfully so, because Black Panther had a great trailer).
With its new date of March 23, Pacific Rim: Uprising’s only competition will be Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Ready Player One, which doesn’t come out until the week after. And while Spielberg will likely attract a big crowd, even he’s not as big a behemoth as Marvel nowadays, and Uprising has slightly better odds going up against a non-franchise movie.
And it’ll need that extra help without Guillermo del Toro directing this time – after directing the original Pacific Rim, del Toro is off making the supernatural love story The Shape of Water while Steven S. DeKnight sits in the director’s chair for the sequel.
So if you want to see the son of Idris Elba’s Stacker Pentecost character from the first film, played by a mustachioed John Boyega (Finn from Star Wars), he won’t be cancelling the apocalypse once again until next spring. Since there are so few giant robot movies in theaters, you’ll just have to make do with more superheroes come February.