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Disney Delays ‘Avatar,’ ‘Stars Wars’ and Marvel Films in Major Readjustment

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Walt Disney Co. updated its film release schedule on Tuesday, delaying some major films by as long as three years.

The third installment of Avatar moves to December 2025 from an earlier date of December 2024. Two other Avatar sequels were pushed back by three years to 2029 and 2031 respectively.

Two upcoming films in Marvel’s multibillion-dollar Avengers franchise were delayed by a year, to May of 2026 and May of 2027. The next Star Wars film was pushed back a year, to May of 2026. Disney hasn’t released a Star Wars film since 2019.

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Disney didn’t give a reason for the delays. Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger has been trying to wring more profits from the business, including cutbacks in content spending. The writers’ strike in the US, which began on May 2, has put the production of every major TV series and film on pause and at risk of delays, and in some cases outright cancellation.

The delays are unwelcome news for theater chains desperate for more films from studios to draw movie-goers back to their screens. Avatar: The Way of Water, the second movie in the Na’vi universe from director James Cameron released in December, became the third highest-grossing picture of all time with $2.3 billion in ticket sales.

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Disney shares rose less than 1% to $93.72 as of 12:16 p.m. in New York.

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