Avatar 2 moves out of the December 2017 slot as Star Wars Episode VIII slides back from May...
20th Century Fox offered no explanation when it abbo8nced that Avatar 2 would no longer make its December 2017 release date. Jim Gianopolus, 20th Century Fox CEO, simply stated that Cameron works at his own pace. The news came after Disney/Lucasfilm announced the rescheduling of Star Wars Episode VIII, so the reasonable conclusion is that Avatar is avoiding Star Wars.
There are no bragging rights be had here, that's simply not cricket. This is just a sensible and sober choice being made by a bunch of smart people. Putting out Star Wars Episode VIII in May as originally planned would impose a tight schedule on Rian Johnson and step on the toes of Rogue One: A Star Wars Stor, which hits theatre just six months prior. Sliding Ep8 back gives Rogue One room to breathe and gives Rian Johnson time to refine the sequel to The Force Awakens, which is potentially the most anticipated sequel at this point in time. Including the sequels to Avatar.
Moving Avatar makes sense for Jim Cameron for all the same reasons. He now has time to refine his script and further develop the emerging technologies he will be adopting for Avatar 2. But the obvious benefit is financial.
Avatar and Star Wars are essentially the same audience, so releasing them too close together means cannibalising each others box office. Separating these films by six months or so will guarantee both get a better shot at doing numbers.
In the wake of The Force Awakens' Christmas release box office haul, I can imagine one of Disney's motivations is to attempt to replicate the conditions going forward. Meaning; Star Wars will be a winter thing from now on. And why not? It out performed every movie in every category during this release window. Star Wars and Christmas are starting to seem like the perfect pairing. So where does that leave Avatar? Avatar may well find itself at the centre of our year, literally. The best place for a huge sci-fi tent pole is smack bang in the middle of summer. The release window served Jurassic World pretty well this year. Imagine Avatar's box office in the same weekend.
So look out superhero movies! Avatar is on the move, and it looks like it might be about to crash your party...
Thank you for reading,