We knew when Disney acquired 20th Century Fox that they’d likely be shuffling up their release date calendar, and today that announcement came. With Fox no longer its own standalone studio, Disney doesn’t want Fox’s films to infringe upon its box office prospects, and vice versa, so some changes were in order. Indeed, the changes were aplenty.
The most notable shifts/announcements have to do with what Disney sees as its two major flagship franchises now that it has acquired Fox: Star Wars and Avatar. Disney will be alternating new Star Wars and Avatar movies starting in 2021, which means the initial 2020 through 2025 release dates for the Avatar franchise have been changed and extended through 2027.
Beyond that, a few changes have actually been made to the 2019 calendar: Disney’s Artemis Fowl has been pushed from August 2019 to May 29, 2020.Fox’s The New Mutants has been delayed again from this August to April 3, 2020.Fox 2000’s The Art of Racing in the Rain has been moved up from September 27th to August 9, 2019.Fox’s sci-fi arthouse film Ad Astra, starring Brad Pitt, has been moved from May to September 20, 2019, better positioning it for awards consideration.Blue Sky Studios—Fox’s animation arm—has moved Spies in Disguise from September to Christmas.
Additionally, Disney has announced a December 2020 release date for the live-action film Cruella, which is poised to star Emma Stone as the titular 101 Dalmatians villain. Also of note: Disney has pulled all of Fox’s Marvel movie release dates it had pegged for untitled films (and Gambit), which was to be expected. Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige will now no doubt assess the slate of films in development and decide which of those will move forward as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
5/10/19 – Fox Searchlight – Tolkien, 5/24/19 – Disney – Aladdin, 6/7/19 – Fox – Dark Phoenix, 6/21/19 – Disney – Toy Story 4, 7/12/19 – Fox – Stuber,
7/19/19 – Disney – The Lion King, 8/9/19 – Fox – The Art of Racing in the Rain, 8/23/19 – Fox Searchlight – Ready or Not, 9/20/19 – Fox – Ad Astra
10/4/19 – Fox – The Woman in the Window, 10/18/19 – Disney – Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, 11/15/19 – Fox – Ford v. Ferrari, 11/22/19 – Disney – Frozen 2, 12/20/19 – Disney – Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, 12/25/19 – Fox – Spies in Disguise.