‘Avatar 2’ will not be ready for Christmas 2017 putting the movie’s release on hold until further notice.
The studio on Thursday declined to comment on the delay, which sources close to the situation confirmed to TheWrap.
There is no new release date for the movie, or word on the other two sequels, which Fox had planned to release in the same holiday season in 2018 and 2019.
This is the second delay for Avatar 2, which Fox originally planned to release by Christmas of this 2016. Cameron plans on shooting all three movies in the trilogy all at the same time in New Zealand. A soundstage and computer animation is still being developed, but a start date for filming has not been set.
Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana are expected to reprise their roles in the movie, which is expected to pick up where the original movie left off, although Cameron has explained the movie may be set on the moon or underwater.
It’s worth pointing out that the studio has never annoucned an official release date for Avatar 2. But, last month Cameron said 2017 release was on track, and Fox said the same last summer after visiting the director’s office in New Zealand.
But, what’s interesting is that Avatar changed their release date following Disney’s announcement that they are moving their Star Wars movie release dates to December 15th, 2017.
As TheWrap explains, Disney wouldn’t make that decision to directly compete with Avatar unless they know for certain that they would beat the competition in the box office:
It’s hard to imagine Disney CEO Robert Iger and “Star Wars” producers Kathleen Kennedy would shift their movie to that date, and re-calibrate the massive Disney marketing machine, unless they were virtually certain they’d have the season — and the pick of IMAX screens — to themselves.
“The Force Awakens” is currently No. 3 on the list of all-time top-grossing films globally with $1.9 billion, behind Cameron’s “Titanic” at $2.2 billion and “Avatar” at $2.8 billion. With both multiple sequels in both franchises on the way, Disney and Fox and their blockbusters should be going head-to-head for the next several years.
James Cameron is known for being a perfectionist and creating new technology for his movies, which probably explains why the movie is delayed. But, until the release of ‘Avatar 2’ is on hold indefinitely.