James Cameron's long-awaited Avatar 2 and its subsequent sequels have been delayed yet again by Disney. The first Avatar was produced for 20th Century Fox and, following its release in December 2009, went on to become the highest-grossing movie ever, by a considerably wide margin. As such, it was always expected that a sequel was going to happen. Cameron decided to make four Avatar sequels, which Disney inherited as part of their recent merger with Fox. Now, the studio has given new dates to the sequels, which are coming out quite a bit later than previously expected.

Disney recently released a fully updated release calendar that has some release dates as far back as 2027. This includes everything they decided to keep following the Fox deal closing. The calendar reveals that Avatar 2 will now arrive in theaters on December 17, 2021, as opposed to its previous date, which would have seen it arrive next year. The following three sequels were also given new dates. The complete Avatar sequel release date lists is as follows:

Avatar sequel release dates

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Avatar 3 coming December 22, 2023, Avatar 4 on December 19, 2025, and Avatar 5 December 17, 2027. So we're going to be lousy with blue aliens for the better part of the next decade, if all goes according to plan.

This means that the first sequel in the franchise will arrive a full 11 years after the original Avatar hit theaters, on its way to a record-shattering $2.78 billion at the global box office. Fox's previous release dates for the sequels had been announced as December 18, 2020, with the further sequels set to follow on December 17, 2021, December 20, 2024, and December 19, 2025. So this puts off those plans by two additional years. But this delay shouldn't be cause for concern or a signal that anything is wrong. Quite the opposite, actually.

The updated calendar also reveals that Disney has set release dates for the next three Star Wars movies beyond this year's The Rise of Skywalker. Those untitled adventures set within a galaxy far, far away are scheduled to arrive on December 16, 2022, December 20, 2024, and December 18, 2026. That means Disney will have the Avatar movies as their major holiday blockbuster releases on the off years for Star Wars, which shows a tremendous vote of confidence. Rightfully so. Again, these are the sequels to the highest-grossing movie of all-time we're talking about. At least for now. Avengers: Endgame may very well take that title away in the coming weeks.

Still, even a fraction of $2.78 billion is a great deal of money at the box office. James Cameron is currently shooting the live-action portions of his first two sequels in New Zealand. The director previously indicated that the success of Avatar 2 and 3 will determine whether or not they actually move forward with the planned fourth and fifth installments. For now at least, Disney seems confident. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any additional details on the movies are made available.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott