Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Disney Delays Release of New "Star Wars" and "Avatar" Movies

By Eric Volkman – Jul 24, 2020 at 6:05PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

We're not going to see the latest installments in these franchises until at least 2022.

The latest installments of two massively popular film franchises will debut later than originally scheduled. Disney (DIS -0.01%) announced Thursday that it is pushing back the release dates of a clutch of features, including all upcoming installments in the popular Star Wars and Avatar series. Additionally, it has indefinitely pulled the release of the live-action version of Mulan, which was originally slated to debut on Aug. 21.

The long-awaited Avatar 2, the first of several planned sequels to the blue alien saga, is now scheduled for release on Dec. 16,  2022. Untitled Star Wars is set to open more than a year later, on Dec. 22, 2023. Subsequent titles in both franchises have also been pushed back -- for example, Avatar 3 is now due to be released Dec. 20, 2024.

Avatar 2 was originally scheduled to debut next year, and the next Star Wars in 2022.

A still from the 2009 film Avatar.

Image source: Walt Disney.

The reason for these delays is, naturally, the coronavirus pandemic, which has lately been surging rapidly in many parts of the U.S.

"Over the last few months, it's become clear that nothing can be set in stone when it comes to how we release films during this global health crisis," Disney said in a media statement.

The news came three days after AT&T film entertainment unit Warner Bros. announced it was indefinitely delaying a hotly anticipated film, the science-fiction thriller Tenet, directed by Christopher Nolan, for similar reasons.

These decisions are a significant blow to cinema operators, which were hoping to reopen by screening summer blockbusters. This is famously the busiest season in the movie exhibition industry.

On Friday, Disney's shares slumped by 0.4%, which was a slightly less steep slide than the declines posted by numerous other blue-chip stocks and the major stock indexes.

Eric Volkman owns shares of Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Walt Disney and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $60 calls on Walt Disney and short October 2020 $125 calls on Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Walt Disney Stock Quote
Walt Disney
DIS
$98.87 (-0.01%) $0.01
AT&T Stock Quote
AT&T
T
$19.12 (0.16%) $0.03

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
356%
 
S&P 500 Returns
118%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 11/26/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.