Star Wars films unveiled, Avatar sequels bumped in updated Disney film slate

BURBANK, Calif. -- Star Wars fans, mark your calendars! Disney has updated its film slate to include release dates for three new Star Wars films and new dates for four upcoming Avatar sequels.

"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" is scheduled to hit theaters Dec. 20, 2019, bringing the Skywalker Saga to its conclusion. Starting in 2022, three new Star Wars films will be released just before Christmas every other year. The untitled films are slated for release on Dec. 16, 2022, Dec. 20, 2024, and Dec. 18, 2026.

While the Star Wars releases will occupy even years, Avatar releases will occupy the same holiday slot on odd years. The second film in the Avatar franchise is scheduled for a Dec. 17, 2021 release, with subsequent films slated for release on Dec. 22, 2023, Dec. 19, 2025, and Dec. 17, 2027. The films are titled numerically: "Avatar 2," "Avatar 3," "Avatar 4" and "Avatar 5."

"Avatar 2" was originally scheduled for a 2014 release but has been bumped several times, most recently to 2020. Director James Cameron told Vanity Fair in 2017 attributed the delays to the scripting process.

Other holiday releases on the studio's slate include "Frozen 2" on Nov. 22, 2019, Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story" adaptation on Dec. 18, 2020, and Disney's live-action "Cruella" opening Dec. 23, 2020.

Disney inherited the Avatar franchise, Spielberg's "West Side Story," and other Fox films on the slate when it acquired the 21st Century Fox film studio and other businesses from Fox Corp. earlier this year.

The combined Disney-Fox slate for the remainder of 2019 includes the following films, which are Disney films unless otherwise noted:

  • "Tolkien" (Fox Searchlight)
  • "Aladdin"
  • "Dark Phoenix" (Fox)
  • "Toy Story 4"
  • "Stuber" (Fox)
  • "The Lion King"
  • "The Art of Racing in the Rain" (Fox)
  • "Ready or Not" (Fox Searchlight)
  • "Ad Astra" (Fox)
  • "The Woman in the Window" (Fox)
  • "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil"
  • "Ford v. Ferrari" (Fox)
  • "Frozen 2"
  • "Star Wars: The Rise of the Skywalker"
  • "Spies in Disguise" (Fox)


Disney alone has grossed $1,248,330,032 at the domestic box office as of May 5, according to an estimate by Box Office Mojo, more than twice as much as second-place Universal. Disney has claimed nearly 34% of the domestic box office so far this year.

20th Century Fox has grossed nearly $163 million domestically in the same time period, a 4.4% market share.

The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of this station.