Warner Bros. is pushing back the release of Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One by three months so as not to compete with Star Wars, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Ready Player One will now be released March 30, 2018.
The movie, based on the young adult dystopian novel written by Ernest Cline, was originally scheduled to be released Dec. 15, 2017, months after Star Wars: Episode VIII was originally set to premiere. That all changed, however, when Disney and Lucasfilm announced they would be delaying the release of the film by seven months, pushing the date back from May 26 to the Dec. 15 spot.
Ready Player One follows a young boy who becomes obsessed with finding a massive treasure left in a virtual world after the game's creator dies. The prize, worth billions, leads to one of the most vicious contests in the world's history as everyone tries to get their hands on it.
Ready Player One isn't the first movie to change its release date to avoid being beaten at the box office by Star Wars. Director James Cameron and 20th Century Fox moved the release date of Avatar 2, the highly anticipated sequel to the record-breaking 2009 movie, just days after Disney announced the change of date for the next Star Wars episode.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens became one of the highest grossing movies of all time in December and just recently crossed the $2 billion mark worldwide. The record for highest grossing film, however, still belongs to the first Avatar, which made $2.7 billion.
Not much is known about Star Wars: Episode VIII, which will see the return of much of The Force Awakens' cast. The film is directed by Rian Johnson (Looper).
Before the eighth film is released, however, Lucasfilm and Disney will release the first Star Wars anthology movie, Rogue One. Directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla), that movie follows a group of Rebel Alliance fighters as they steal plans for the Death Star.
Star Wars: Rogue One hits theaters Dec. 16, 2016.