If you have hopes of going to Pandora or grabbing a cold one on Mos Eisley, I would hold off on packing the family station wagon. James Cameron’s long-awaited and oft-delayed follow-up to “Avatar” has been pushed back another year. “Avatar 2” will hit theaters on Dec. 17, 2021, instead of Dec. 18, 2020, as originally planned. Its move means that “Avatar 3” will open on Dec. 22, 2023, as opposed to Dec. 17, 2021, while “Avatar 4” will bow on Dec. 19, 2025, instead of Dec. 20, 2024, and “Avatar 5” will launch Dec. 17, 2027.
The news comes as part of a larger shift in release dates unveiled by Walt Disney Studios. The company is changing the debuts of various films it inherited after buying the bulk of 21st Century Fox’s film and television assets in a $71.3 billion mega-merger.
As part of the great release date shake-up, Disney announced that a trio of untitled “Star Wars” entries that will come after “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” brings the Skywalker spinoff saga to a close this December. The first of the new three films will hit the big screen on Dec. 16, 2022. There will be two other follow-ups to during the Christmas corridor on Dec. 20, 2024, and Dec. 18, 2026. Disney is poised to dominate around the holidays for the foreseeable future. The studio is alternating between “Avatar” and “Star Wars” films every year through 2027 starting in 2021. In 2020, Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” adaptation” will bow on Dec. 18, while “Cruella” will launch Dec. 23 ahead of the long holiday weekend.
Following its box office behemoth “Avengers: Endgame,” Disney has also adjusted a few upcoming Marvel releases. Fox’s “The New Mutants,” an “X-Men” film with “Game of Thrones” star Maisie Williams, was pushed back from Aug. 2, 2019, to April 3, 2020. Meanwhile, “Gambit,” another Fox-owned “X-Men” entry, was removed from the studio’s schedule. The ill-fated Channing Tatum-led spinoff was previously dated for March 13, 2020.
“We’re excited to put in place a robust and diverse slate that lays the foundation of our long-term strategy, bringing together a breadth of films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Fox, Fox Searchlight, and Blue Sky Studios to create an extraordinary collection of cinematic experiences for audiences around the world,” said Cathleen Taff, the studio’s president of theatrical distribution. “With a strong summer already in place, we are eager to carry that momentum forward over the coming years thanks to a creative wellspring of bold and imaginative stories coming from our world-class studios — including several new chapters of two revered franchises, ‘Avatar’ and ‘Star Wars.’”
See the full updates to the release schedule below:
THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN (FOX) previously dated on 9/27/19 moves to 8/9/19
READY OR NOT (FSL) is now dated on 8/23/19
AD ASTRA (FOX) previously dated on 5/24/19 moves to 9/20/19
FORD v. FERRARI (FOX) is the updated title of previous UNTITLED JAMES MANGOLD PROJECT dated on 11/15/19
STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER (DIS) is the updated title of previous STAR WARS: EPISODE IX dated on 12/20/19
SPIES IN DISGUISE (FOX) previously dated on 9/13/19 moves to 12/25/19
UNDERWATER (FOX) is now dated on 1/10/20
CALL OF THE WILD (FOX) previously dated on 12/25/19 moves to 2/21/20
THE NEW MUTANTS (FOX) previously dated on 8/2/19 moves to 4/3/20
ARTEMIS FOWL (DIS) previously dated on 8/9/19 moves to 5/29/20
THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN (DIS) is the updated title of previous UNTITLED DISNEY LIVE ACTION dated on 2/14/20, and moves to 8/14/20
DEATH ON THE NILE (FOX) previously dated on 10/2/20 moves to 10/9/20
WEST SIDE STORY (FOX) is now dated on 12/18/20
CRUELLA (DIS) is the updated title of previous UNTITLED DISNEY LIVE ACTION dated on 12/23/20
NIMONA (FOX) previously dated on 2/14/20 moves to 3/5/21
AVATAR 2 (FOX) previously dated on 12/18/20 moves to 12/17/21
UNTITLED STAR WARS (DIS) is the updated title of previous UNTITLED DISNEY LIVE ACTION dated on 12/16/22
AVATAR 3 (FOX) previously dated on 12/17/21 moves to 12/22/23
UNTITLED STAR WARS (DIS) is now dated on 12/20/24
AVATAR 4 (FOX) previously dated on 12/20/24 is now dated on 12/19/25
UNTITLED STAR WARS (DIS) is now dated on 12/18/26
AVATAR 5 (FOX) previously dated on 12/19/25 moves to 12/17/27
GAMBIT (FOX) previously dated on 3/13/20 is removed from the schedule
UNTITLED FOX MARVEL (FOX) previously dated on 6/26/20 is removed from the schedule
UNTITLED FOX MARVEL (FOX) previously dated on 10/2/20 is removed from the schedule
UNTITLED DISNEY LIVE ACTION (DIS) previously dated on 10/9/20 is removed from the schedule
NEWS WATCH: Disney Announces New ‘Star Wars and Avatar Sequels.
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