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New release dates for Star Wars: Episode VIII and Pirates of the Caribbean 5

01.20.2016

Disney and Lucasfilm dropped that insistence that a STAR WARS movie must premiere in May really quickly after seeing the monstrous box office numbers that STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS continues to rake in. Today The Mouse has announced that STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII will be moving out of its initial May 26, 2017 release date and finding a comfortable home on December 15, 2017.

THE FORCE AWAKENS was the first STAR WARS movie to not debut in May, and, if you remember, there was a lot of pushback on the film's delay to December even happening. In fact, if not for the story juggling that needed to be done when J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan needed to rework the film following Michael Arndt's script, that film probably would have stayed in its May placement. However, with more time being needed in order to get things in a better position than they were, December was the best option on the table. I'm sure everyone is happy with how that turned out.

Even with a movie like STAR WARS, December offers far less competition at the box office than the bloodbath of the summer blockbuster season where new big-budget fare is around the corner on a weekly basis. As THE FORCE AWAKENS proved, if you can get a movie of this stature on a roll near the holidays, there is massive bank to be made.

However, you would be crazy to think that Disney is going to give up such prime calendar real estate, and so as a secondary move, they have also moved up PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES from its previously scheduled July 7, 2017 location into that May 26 spot.

It is fascinating to watch Disney work like this, as it shows what a smart machine they can be when they're on their A-game.

Extra Tidbit: AVATAR 2 is scheduled for a Christmas Day release in 2017, so... SHOWDOWN!!

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