"Star Wars 8" Will Clash with "Avatar 2" in December 2017

Posted 3:05 PM January 20th, 2016 by Senh Duong
"Avatar 2" vs. "Star Wars VIII"

After “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” broke the all-time box office record previously held by James Cameron’s “Avatar,” Disney no longer fears “Avatar 2.”

The studio has decided to move the release date for “Star Wars 8” from May 26, 2017 to December 15, 2017, just a week before James Cameron’s long-awaited sequel to “Avatar.”

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has already grossed $861M domestically, breaking the previous record of $760M set by “Avatar” in 2009.

Worldwide, James Cameron’s record seems to be safe. He still has the top two highest-grossing films of all time with “Avatar” and “Titanic” -- at $2.8B and $2.2B, respectively. “The Force Awakens’” global figure is currently at $1.9B and is likely not to reach either of Cameron’s films.

The additional time for “Star Wars 8” is probably good news to director Rian Johnson (“Looper”), who’s doing rewrites to give more prominence to some of the more popular secondary characters from “The Force Awakens.”

With regards to “Avatar 2,” Cameron has admitted to feeling pressure to deliver a sequel that would satisfy the extremely high expectations set by the first film and also prove that its success wasn’t a “fluke.” Well, now he has even more pressure.

With the clash of the aforementioned box office titans in December of 2017, there’ll definitely be lots of fireworks. The question is will they cannibalize each other’s business?

Or will Cameron move out of the way? It’s happened before: A couple of years ago, when Marvel announced that they were moving “Captain America: Civil War” to May of 2016, a slot originally held by “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” Warner Bros. eventually moved their film into March.

Fox still has about two years to make a move on “Avatar 2’s” release date.

Here’s the official press release from Disney regarding “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”:

This morning, The Walt Disney Studios announced new release dates for upcoming films from two of its major franchises.

Star Wars: Episode VIII, originally scheduled for release on May 26, 2017, will now debut on December 15, 2017. The move follows the extraordinary success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was the first Star Wars movie to premiere in December. In the popular holiday moviegoing corridor, it smashed numerous records, including biggest domestic and global debuts of all time as well as the biggest domestic second and third weekends, en route to becoming the highest grossing domestic release of all time with over $861M and the third biggest global release ever with $1.887B.

Written and directed by Rian Johnson, Star Wars: Episode VIII is currently in pre-production and will begin principal photography in London next month. Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman will produce and J.J. Abrams, Tom Karnowski, and Jason McGatlin will executive produce. Stay tuned to StarWars.com for exciting updates in the coming weeks.

With Star Wars: Episode VIII jumping to December, Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will set sail on May 26, 2017, from its previously scheduled July 7, 2017, berth. The blockbuster franchise’s previous installment, the $1B-grossing Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, also debuted in late May.

In Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Johnny Depp returns as Captain Jack Sparrow with Geoffrey Rush back on board as Barbossa, Orlando Bloom resurfacing as Will Turner, and a terrifying new adversary, Captain Salazar, played by Javier Bardem, in the mix. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, the film is currently in post-production.

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