“Star Wars: Episode IX,” “Indiana Jones 5,” “Frozen 2,” “The Lion King” Get Release Dates from Disney

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Just days after 20th Century Fox set release dates for James Cameron’s Avatar sequels, Disney has announced that it will release Colin Trevorrow’s  on May 24, 2019.

The studio has also delayed the release of the next Indiana Jones movie by a full year, moving it from July 19, 2019 to July 10, 2020. Jon Favreau’s will take its place on the calendar.

Disney also announced that it will release a sequel to Frozen on Nov. 27, 2019, while Gigantic has been pushed back two years and will now hit theaters on Nov. 25, 2020. Finally, Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 has moved from March 9, 2018 to Nov. 21, 2018. Disney has clearly reserved the lucrative Thanksgiving corridor for its animated movies, and its two sequels have priority on the runway given the unusually long delay for Gigantic.

What’s interesting about the release date for Episode IX is that it seems to be positioning the Star Wars franchise for a shift from December to May, as the Avatar sequels just claimed December release dates in 2020, 2021, 2024 and 2025. That franchise will, theoretically, own the Christmas frame for those four years, just as Lucasfilm has done with The Force Awakens and Rogue One, and will surely do again with The Last Jedi.

2019 was effectively the last December slot available for the Avatar franchise roars back to life, but Disney has already decided it will mix things up and give that plum holiday release date to a live-action fairy tale movie. Perhaps it will be Dumbo, or perhaps Emma Stone’s Cruella movie will come together faster than anticipated to capitalize on the heat from her recent Oscar win for La La Land.

The Lion King feels like the perfect summer release in 2019. It will arrive two weeks after Sony’s Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel and one week before an untitled Sony movie that will almost certainly move elsewhere, since Simba is expected to roar past the billion-dollar mark.

  | Editor in Chief
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