Fans of Star Wars will have to wait seven months longer for the eighth instalment of the cinematic franchise.
Disney and Lucasfilm announced today that the release date for Star Wars Episode VIII has been pushed to December 15, 2017 – almost exactly two years after the release of the latest film. Originally, the studio had planned to released Episode VIII in May 2017.
No specific reason for the delay has been made public, but there has been speculation that writer and director Rian Johnson wants more time to complete rewrites of the script.
With a December 2017 release date, this means Star Wars will have to compete directly against James Cameron’s Avatar 2 in the box office. The second Avatar movie is currently scheduled for a Christmas Day 2017 release.
The Star Wars date change has allowed a shift for another major Disney property. With the bump to Christmas, Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will now be released on May 2016, 2017 to take advantage of the highly coveted Memorial Day weekend slot.
As of this week, J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars Episode VII has made $1.88 billion globally in just five weeks, including a record $861 million in the domestic (Canada and U.S.A) box office. It has already toppled Jurassic World‘s total haul of $1.669 billion and analysts are maintaining that it has a good chance of exceeding Avatar‘s $2.788 billion.