Disney was set to dominate the month of December for the next 6-7 years. The plan was to release James Cameron’s Avatar 2 in December 2021 (Avatar is now a property of Disney after the House of Mouse acquired Fox). The plan was to alternate between Star Wars and Avatar until December 2027. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has sent everything into disarray, as productions shut down and studios try to find new release dates for all their properties, completed or otherwise.
Disney is no different. Camp Mickey has decided to pushback this six year plan by one year. And so, the first Avatar film will only hit the big screen in 2022.
Here’s the updated lineup.
- Avatar 2 – Previously December 2021, now 16 December 2022.
- Avatar 3 – Previously December 2023, now 20 December 2024.
- Avatar 4 – Previously December 2025, now December 2026.
- Avatar 5 – Previously December 2027, now December 2028.
- Untitled Star Wars movie – Previously December 2022, now 22 December 2023.
- Untitled Star Wars movie – Previously December 2024, now 19 December 2025.
- Untitled Star Wars movie – Previously December 2026, now 17 December 2027.
What’s most exciting about this shakeup is that it now leaves December 2021 up for grabs. Without a Disney behemoth marking its territory, other studios now have the opportunity to field their best player and reap maximum profits.
Something like Morbius immediately comes to mind. Initially set for a summer 2020 release, the film is now pushed to March 19 2021, squashed in between Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon and Fast & Furious 9. This could potentially be disastrous for Morbius’ box office, especially since it’s not a film many are looking forward to anyway. It could find a little bit more footing in what is definitely going to be slightly quieter December than before.
Another film that could potentially wreak box office havoc in the month of December is Godzilla vs Kong, which was originally set for a November 2020 release but has now booked a May 2021 release. While the competition isn’t as tight, Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be hitting theatres two weeks before it. We know these Marvel movies tend to have long legs and loads of stamina, as they’re usually watched multiple times in theatres, and get both hardcore and casual fans excited. Since we’re not going to be getting Avatar in December 2021, Warner Bros should book the December slot and get ready to dominate.