The Avatar Sequels are Taking Over the Holidays Starting in 2020

The release dates for the four upcoming movies are all in mid-December.

The last couple of years, the holiday season has belonged to Star Wars. If they stick with that schedule (and they might not, since that Han Solo movie is supposed to come out next May), they’ll have some competition starting in 2020. The long-delayed Avatar sequels are officially coming in 2020, 2021, 2024, and 2025, and they’ll all be December releases.

Avatar, James Cameron’s 2009 science fiction film, was an original creation. Centered around the Na’vi, a race of blue-skinned humanoids on the moon Pandora, and their defense against an alien invasion, the film shattered records when it was released. It’s still the highest-grossing movie of all time with a take of nearly $2.8 billion worldwide, and is second to Gone With the Wind for gross when adjusted for inflation.

Cameron had intended on creating several more movies in the franchise if the first film succeeded, and saying that the first film succeeded is putting it mildly. But, since 2009, the projects have been delayed — possibly because the scope kept growing. What started as two sequels slated for 2014 and 2015 became three sequels, and then became four. Either Cameron is now satisfied with what he has, or 20th Century Fox, holder of the purse strings, told him to get busy — the release dates for all four sequels have been announced. Filming for the first sequel is to begin this August, and the following sequels will be shot concurrently after that.

So, what dates do you need to mark on your calendars? Per an announcement on the Avatar Facebook page, Avatars 2-5 will arrive December 18, 2020, December 17, 2021, December 20, 2024, and December 19, 2025. Everyone from the original cast is expected to return — even Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang, despite their characters not surviving the first movie.

While Avatar is the reigning box office champ, it still has something to prove. The original came out at the height of the 3D movie revival and got a less competitive January release. Tackling the holiday season will be a much taller order, especially if Star Wars is going to be there. But, with an unprecedented take from the original, who knows? Avatar 2 might just hit that $3 billion mark — box office unobtanium.

Via Entertainment Weekly