Avatar vs Star Wars: Who will be Disney’s biggest hitter?

*Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker dir. J.J. Abrams 2019

More Star Wars and Avatar movies are on the way, but which franchise will dominate?

Star Wars and Avatar are both iconic properties, boasting box office fortune and blockbuster prestige. So far, we've only had one Avatar film and it currently stands as the highest-grossing movie of all time, although Avengers: Endgame is creeping up to it. On the contrary, Star Wars has long been a fascination for cinema lovers despite its ups and downs; The Last Jedi remains divisive even after a couple of years.

However, the much-debated prequels are actually being reevaluated by many franchise fans, with some even considering them the best instalments. It's clear that the passing of time can aid or condemn a film, and Star Wars has certainly been a property to benefit rather than suffer. Avatar, on the other hand, has actually been reconsidered in recent years as somewhat of a disappointment. Many claim to have been swept in by the spectacle back when it screened in cinemas in 2009, but now - when focusing on narrative - it's all spectacle, all familiar, and all quite underwhelming. 

Perhaps the issue with the audience's anticipation for Avatar 2 stems from delays. As mentioned, the first film came out a decade ago and we still haven't received a sequel. Interest in the colossal project has gradually waned as a result, but it's not exactly surprising; the first instalment really does feel like somewhat of a distant memory for casual audiences. 

So, here's the question: Will Star Wars prove more profitable for Disney than Avatar? Variety reports that the studio has pushed Avatar 2 back a year with a December 12, 2021 release date; three subsequent sequels will then follow every other year, with Avatar 5 finally arriving on December 17, 2027. However, they've also announced that three Star Wars movies are on the way after Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker concludes the new trilogy. The first of these three films is scheduled to arrive on December 16, 2022. The other two films will follow on December 20, 2024, and December 18, 2026.

Essentially, Disney is planning to dominate every holiday season for the foreseeable future with the aid of these two franchises. Alternating between Star Wars and Avatar every year, it's hard to imagine them falling short of their aim, but it's interesting to speculate which one will prove more profitable. It's a little hard to tell because all Avatar 2 has done so far has disappointed fans with numerous delays. The film's elongated release has - if anything - encouraged fans to hold the film to a higher standard. If the trailer arrives and it's anything short of phenomenal, there will be an immense backlash. 

Avatar has obviously proven more profitable than any Star Wars entry, but at the time it was something new and exciting; the sequel may or may not have that same draw. Predictions for the three Star Wars efforts after The Rise of Skywalker really depend on the latter's success. If Abrams' conclusion fails to bring the trilogy to a satisfying close, then fatigue could easily work in Avatar's favour. 

Really, hopes for the future of these franchises fall on a groundbreaking Avatar 2 trailer and the positive reception of The Rise of Skywalker. At the moment though, it does look like Star Wars has the upper hand. No matter which makes the most money, Disney wins. 

In other news, the Avengers: Endgame writers explain their most controversial decision.

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