I've got some bad news for you guys hoping to see the next adventure of Rey, Finn, Kylo Ren and BB-8 in just over one year as it looks as though Lucasfilm has shifted their release date of Star Wars Episode VIII to December 15th 2017.
Yep....it's true, and what horrific news this is. Star Wars Episode VIII originally set to open on May 26th 2017 directed by Rian Johnson (Looper) has been pushed back 7 months. As much as this will anger fans around the world....it makes sense.
Many of you will remember when Episode VII was set to release in May 2015 but was also moved to December. With The Force Awakens now out worldwide and already becoming the third highest grossing film of all time, I can't help but understand Lucasfilm's decision. That date is a prime spot as nothing else big ever releases in the month of January, meaning Star Wars can remain #1 at the Box Office for weeks on end. Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 also releases in the Summer time so having Star Wars (also owned by Disney) compete with a Marvel (owned by Disney) film makes no sense.
Of course Episode VII didn't have any competition in December 2015 but December 2017 is a different story altogether. James Cameron and 20th Century Fox are planning to release Avatar 2 just days 10 days after Episode VIII on December 25th. Now....what could that mean? Avatar is the highest grossing film of all time and although it's expected for Avatar 2 to make less than it's predecessor, how much Box Office will it take away from Star Wars? This is going to be very interesting to see if Avatar 2 will move dates or not.
There are rumors circling that Lucasfilm is thinking about moving all of their Star Wars films into December to rake in as much Box Office success as possible as it's proven with The Force Awakens that people don't mind travelling out at Christmas to their local theater to see a Star Wars flick. Reports also circled earlier this week that Episode VIII is undergoing some rewrites to get more screen time for each of the new characters because of how beloved their already are.
No official reason for the move has been given but it does seem as though the incredible global success of The Force Awakens has forced this decision. Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales has now moved to the May 26th spot.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is out in cinemas everywhere now.
What do you make of this news? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @JamesPorter97