The next chapter in the highest-grossing film of all time, Avatar, has been delayed to December 2021. Disney has also announced a new Star Wars trilogy along with premiere dates for several other films.
Disney's plans for Avatar 2, 3, 4, 5
Disney has swallowed 21st Century Fox, including film studio 20th Century Fox. Through the acquisition, the company has gained control over the Avatar and X-men franchises that will be brought back to life on the large canvas and later onto the Disney+ streaming service.
A total of four new Avatar films are planned. The original remains the highest-grossing film of all time - but may soon be dethroned by Avengers: Endgame. The sequel has been delayed several times and Disney is now delaying it for another year. Avatar 2 will now premiere in December 2021.
Avatar 3, Avatar 4, and Avatar 5 will follow in December 2023, 2025, and 2027, respectively. If James Cameron gets his way the new films may also in earnest mark the start of the transition to HFR (High Frame Rate) after almost a century of Hollywood content being shot at 24fps.
New Star Wars trilogy
In addition, Disney has announced a new Star Wars trilogy. The three films have yet to be titled. After the premiere of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in late 2019, fans must wait until December 2022 for the next film to hit the big canvas.
The following two films in the trilogy will debut on December 2024 and 2026, respectively. Disney appears to using the two franchises as tentpoles in its theatrical strategy by alternating between releasing one in each franchise every two years.
In-between Avatar and Star Wars, the company will, amongst many others, release new animation movies from Disney and Pixar, superhero movies from Marvel, and new X-men and Kingsman films. The next major title from Disney will be the live action remake of Aladdin that will debut later this month.
- "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, president of theatrical distribution at Disney.
The full slate of confirmed releases from Disney can be seen below. It demonstrates just how powerful Disney has become in recent times, partly through acquisitions of Lucasfilm, Pixar, Marvel, and most recently Fox. The company has used consolidation in old Hollywood to build a new foundation for future decades where the company's theatrical business will be complemented by a new revenue stream from streaming services as physical discs disappear.
Disney is dominating the big canvas and continues to have its eyes fixated on it. Behind the scenes, the company laying the building blocks for its upcoming streaming service Disney+ that will launch later this year as a direct competitor to Netflix and others. After the theatrical debut, all titles on the list will eventually make it to Disney+.