Friday, January 22, 2016

Pandora Trip Delayed?: 'Avatar 2' Release Date Confusion

Once again, a game of release date chess is about to be played by the major studios. All because of an ongoing tale set in a galaxy far, far away...

With Star Wars: Episode VIII now sitting in the mid-December 2017 hall, another big picture is apparently shaking in its boots: Avatar 2.

As far as I know, Avatar 2 was never, ever set in stone for a Christmas 2017 release.

None of the major sites that only list the accurate, studio-approved release dates ever have or had Avatar 2 pegged for an exact date. The best I've heard was "The idea is sometime around Christmas 2017," that it's. Not "12/15/2017" or anything of the sort.

Fox, up until Star Wars: Episode VIII got pushed to 12/15/2017, had two pictures slated for that month: The Croods 2 (12/22) and The Greatest Showman on Earth (12/25). Warner Bros. confidently put Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One in the 12/15/2017 slot not too long ago, too. Avatar 2 was never in that region. If it was, almost none of those movies would've landed there.

However, Fox's hopes to release it during that time have certainly been dashed. Avatar 2 probably doesn't stand a chance against Star Wars, because Avatar is really something of a fluke. Its popularity vanished in a flash, it's not quite talked about anymore despite being the world's highest grossing film. You don't see merchandise for it anywhere, really. A phenomenon that sort of came and went, no different from a fad. I still think Avatar is competent and decent for what it is, not to mention it's visually splendid, but I'm not gung-ho about going back. I own it, but I haven't seen it in years. I'll see Avatar 2, certainly, but it's not something I'm charged up about. By contrast, in late 2009, I was all about Avatar. 17-year-old me thought it was epic and awesome!

So when could Fox possibly release this film? That is, if director James Cameron doesn't continue to dawdle on it.

Well, with Disney making December "Star Wars Month", I can see Disney also snatching up December 2018 for the untitled Han Solo film, and December 2019 for Episode IX. Makes sense, right? So what does Avatar 2 have to settle for?

Right now, the Han Solo movie is set for May 25, 2018. If Disney vacates that spot, Fox can snatch it right up and give other competition a bit of a warning. Avatar 2 will most likely not repeat the first film's success, but it'll still do very well, so putting it there will still be enough of a "back off" grunt to other studios. Also, Disney isn't losing much because Avatar 2 will function as a giant advertisement for them. Avatar Land in Disney's Animal Kingdom is just a year away...

Actually, I think a theme park based on Avatar is perfect. You know why? Avatar is first and foremost is an experience movie, visually. In 3D in a theater, you felt like you were on Pandora, regardless of what you thought of the story you were being told. At least that's how it felt for me. More than anything, I think Pandora would work better as a theme park than a setting in a movie series... Unless Avatar 2 somehow tells a very compelling story and doesn't rest on tired stuff done better in other movies.

I know it's cool to dog on Cameron for both Avatar and Titanic, but this is also the same man who gave us The Terminator, Aliens, and Terminator 2 (the Internet, for some odd reason, now doesn't think too highly of the latter two films), so maybe there's a chance. No? It's a shame he didn't go through with Battle Angel though.

As for Ready Player One, I can see that moving to November, or maybe even October. Prime months for good/successful sci-fi: Gravity, Interstellar, The Martian, et al.

Fox ought to move The Croods 2 soon. They most likely will, because remember it took them forever to move Kung Fu Panda 3 away from The Force Awakens? They'll probably move Croods 2 to October 2017 - if something else that's animated and family-friendly doesn't move there first - or maybe even to the summer. Maybe there will be some musical chairs going on, and movies move around the slate. Who knows!

What say you? Are you looking forward to Avatar 2? When do you think it'll come out? Sound off below!

1 comment:

  1. With the theme park land, Disney has too big an investment in Avatar to kill it with Star Wars. This was definitely a mutual decision, not Disney deciding to change a date and Fox getting scared.