2016 and 2017 are going to be busy years for the Walt Disney Studios. Juggling multiple major franchises is not for the faint of heart. To make some room in the schedule, Disney has decided to push back one movie and bump up another into its slot.
Star Wars: Episode VIII, originally scheduled for release on May 26, 2017, will now debut on December 15, 2017. The move follows the extraordinary success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was the first Star Wars movie to premiere in December. In the popular holiday moviegoing corridor, it smashed numerous records, including biggest domestic and global debuts of all time as well as the biggest domestic second and third weekends, en route to becoming the highest grossing domestic release of all time with over $861M and the third biggest global release ever with $1.887B. This is a good move for Disney and it will likely lockup the holiday box office for the foreseeable future with Star Wars films.
Written and directed by Rian Johnson, Star Wars: Episode VIII is currently in pre-production and will begin principal photography in London next month. Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman will produce and J.J. Abrams, Tom Karnowski, and Jason McGatlin will executive produce.
With Star Wars: Episode VIII jumping to December, Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will set sail on May 26, 2017, from its previously scheduled July 7, 2017, berth. (Taking the spot of the just moved Episode VIII.) The blockbuster franchise’s previous installment, the $1B-grossing Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, also debuted in late May.
In Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Johnny Depp returns as Captain Jack Sparrow with Geoffrey Rush back on board as Barbossa, Orlando Bloom resurfacing as Will Turner, and a terrifying new adversary, Captain Salazar, played by Javier Bardem, in the mix. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, the film is currently in post-production.
The Walt Disney Studios films for 2016 are
January 29 – The Finest Hours
March 4 – Zootopia
April 15 – The Jungle Book
May 6 – Captain America: Civil War
May 27 – Alice Through the Looking Glass
June 17 – Finding Dory
July 1 – The BFG
August 12 – Pete’s Dragon
Fall – Queen of Katwe
November 4 – Doctor Strange
November 23 – Moana
December 16 – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Which film are you most looking forward to?