Simon Kinberg says 'Dark Phoenix's release date was changed in order to suit the film's Chinese audience.

The 45-year-old director has revealed that the upcoming X-Men movie saw its release date pushed back from February 14 until June next year because the studio wanted to attract the biggest possible audience in China.

Simon - whose movie has been handed the release date initially set aside for the 'Gambit' X-Men film - explained: ''Some of the trailers had 'Coming Soon' on them and some of them said 'February 14'.

''It was a date, February 14, that we initially liked for the movie but when we realised that we weren't gonna have the visual effects ready to release it globally the way we wanted to, and the 'Gambit' date opened up because it wasn't gonna be ready for that June 7 date.''

'Dark Phoenix's release date was announced shortly after the trailer made its debut.

But the studio subsequently reflected on the planned release date and decided that a later date represented a ''bigger opportunity''.

Simon told Collider: ''We looked at that date versus the February 14 date, the studio did and we did, we felt like that June date was a bigger opportunity for us globally.

''More screens, more IMAX screens, a better chance to play in China where these movies have a massive following. What we found when we released the trailer was that 44, 45 million views of the trailer were in China alone ... Specific for us, it is an opportunity to be a bigger movie day-and-date globally.''