Now that Disney owns all of 21st Century Fox, it has a ton of movies set to be released over the next couple of years. The House of Mouse did all sorts of shuffling dates when the purchase was first completed earlier this year, but moves are still being made to ensure that each film on the slate has plenty of breathing room, and it given the opportunity to make as much money as possible. On Tuesday, Disney made its latest release adjustment, delivering a serious delay to Cruella.
The studio has been planning a live-action origin story for Cruella de Vil for some time, with Emma Stone playing a younger version of the character. The film was slated to be Disney's big Christmas tentpole in 2020, bridging the gap between Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in 2019 and Avatar 2 in 2021. Now it looks like the studio has other plans, as Cruella has been pushed back five months to May 28, 2021.
This new date should still be profitable, considering the holiday weekend, but the reason for the move is likely due to the Fox film also set for Christmas 2020.
Stephen Spielberg's West Side Story arrives in theaters on December 18, 2020. That's just five days before the initial Cruella release date, December 23rd. Disney had two movies hitting theaters in the same week, which probably wasn't too good for business so something had to go. Given that Spielberg has been shooting West Side Story for quite a while, and the previous success that musicals have found during the holidays, it made sense for Disney to keep this where it was.
Once West Side Story arrives in 2020, every Christmas until 2027 will be dominated by one of two mega franchises. Disney is planning to alternate the release of the four upcoming Avatar sequels and a new Star Wars trilogy, each arriving in that late December window. There will be new Avatar movies in 2021, 2023, 2025, and 2027. New Star Wars films are currently slated for 2022, 2024, and 2026.
Are you disappointed to see Cruella delayed? What Disney movie are you most looking forward to next year? Let us know in the comments!