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Disney Unveils New Film Slate -- WSJ

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05/08/2019 | 02:48am EDT

By Patrick Thomas

Walt Disney Co. unveiled its new slate of movies through 2027 following the $71.3 billion acquisition of the major entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox.

The company on Tuesday listed several former 21st Century Fox properties, including the release date of "Avatar 2" in 2021, a new untitled "Kingsman" movie and "New Mutants," from the "X-Men" series, in 2020.

"Avatar," released in 2009, is the highest-grossing film of all time, making $2.79 billion globally. According to the schedule, Disney plans to make four more films from that franchise between 2021 and 2027.

Disney also said it plans to release three future untitled "Star Wars" films every two years between 2022 and 2026.

Disney acquired Lucasfilm and the rights to "Star Wars" in 2012 for $4 billion. The company set a goal of releasing a new film in the series every year.

Its first installment, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" in 2015, is the top-grossing domestic film of all time, earning $937 million.

But the strategy faced scrutiny after "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" got mixed reviews among fans in 2017, followed by disappointing box-office returns for "Solo: A Star Wars Story" when it was released in 2018. The Han Solo origin story is the lowest-grossing "Star Wars" title in history, collecting $214 million domestically.

Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger had said earlier this year that the film franchise will go on hiatus after December's "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" release.

On the Marvel side, two new untitled films will be released next year and Disney plans to release three untitled movies from the Marvel franchise in both 2021 and 2022.

"We're excited to put in place a robust and diverse slate that lays the foundation of our long-term strategy," Cathleen Taff, president of Disney's theatrical distribution, said in a statement.

Write to Patrick Thomas at Patrick.Thomas@wsj.com

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
WALT DISNEY COMPANY (THE) 0.53% 130.02 Delayed Quote.17.96%
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