On the heels of J.J. Abrams taking over the directing reins of Star Wars: Episode IX, the final Skywalker family trilogy title will now open on Dec. 20, 2019 instead of May 24, 2019. This will certainly put in motion a domino effect as several studios will likely scurry to slot their pics over Memorial Day weekend 2019, and also move out of the way of Star Wars’ path as it barrels into December, 24 months from now.
The only other title that Episode IX leaves behind on Memorial Day weekend is Warner Bros. Minecraft. Episode IX enters a December where Wonder Woman 2 is scheduled to open a weekend before on Dec. 13 (will she move?). That Dec. 20 date is the pre-Christmas weekend that Force Awakens previously occupied. Opening on Christmas day of that year is Universal’s feature version of the Broadway musical Wicked as well as Sony’s Masters of the Universe. Just as a reminder, the long-awaited James Cameron sequel Avatar 2 will open the following year, on Dec. 18, 2020.
Despite changing up directors from Phil Lord and Christopher Miller to Ron Howard on next Memorial Day weekend’s Han Solo movie, that pic is sticking to its original release date of May 25.
In addition, the untitled live action Disney fairy tale slot occupied for Aug. 3, 2018 has been designated to Disney’s untitled Christopher Robin Project. For a while, many were wondering what this film would be. This is the Marc Forster-directed film about the working class Robin, played by Ewan McGregor, who encounters Winnie-the-Pooh who sets him back on a joyful life. Hayley Atwell also stars. Unlike this past August which lacked a marquee title to kick off August, the hope here is that Disney actually has one to carry us through the last month of summer.
Disney also had a number of other release date shifts this afternoon:
Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin in 3D takes the place of the untitled Disney fairy tale pic. It was originally scheduled for Dec. 20, 2019, but now takes Star Wars: Episode IX’s old spot of May 24.
Artemis Fowl is the updated title for the previous untitled Disney live action title standing alone on the calendar for Aug. 9, 2019. Ditto for Nicole which will open on Nov. 8, 2019; another date Disney had RSVP’ed for another fairy tale movie.
Also, Mark Waters’ Magic Camp which was previously dated for April 6, 2018, is now unset.
In total, Disney will release 11 films respectively in both 2018 and 2019.