With coronavirus cases surging in the U.S. and new hotspots breaking out around the globe, Disney announced major changes to the studio’s release calendar. Most notably, the epic shakeup of film debuts involves delaying its “Star Wars” movies and “Avatar” sequels by a year.
The studio still plans to dominate moviegoing around the holidays when theaters are hopefully able to reopen. Each year between 2022 and 2028, Disney will release a new “Star Wars” adventure or “Avatar” follow-up.
James Cameron’s long-delayed sequels to Avatar” will now premiere every other December starting in 2022 as follows: “Avatar 2” (Dec. 16, 2022), “Avatar 3” (Dec. 20, 2024), “Avatar 4” (Dec. 18, 2026) and “Avatar 5” (Dec. 22, 2028). The second “Avatar” installment, which was originally aiming to open in 2014, will debut 13 years after the first film.
Meanwhile, a trio of “Star Wars” movies will debut around Christmas every other year starting in 2023. The first of three films will launch on Dec. 22, 2023, and two follow-ups will hit theaters Dec. 19, 2025, and Dec. 17, 2027. The studio has kept its cards close to its chest about what those films will entail.
Fans will have to wait until next year to see the sequels to “A Quiet Place” and “Top Gun.”
Both movies were part of a release date shakeup from Paramount on Thursday night. “A Quiet Place Part 2,” starring John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, will release in theaters on April 23, 2021, instead of Sept. 6, 2020. “Top Gun: Maverick,” a sequel to Tom Cruise’s 1986 classic, will take flight on July 2, 2021, nearly six months after its original date of Dec. 23, 2020.
“We truly believe that there is no movie-viewing experience like the one enjoyed in theatres,” said Paramount’s president of domestic distribution Chris Aronson, and president of international theatrical distribution Mark Viane.