The release of “Star Wars: Episode VIII,” the next installment in the franchise that has been crushing box office records since December with “The Force Awakens,” has been pushed back by seven months.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the release was moved from May 26, 2017 — Memorial Day weekend — to Dec. 15, 2017. Another blockbuster franchise is taking over the May 26, 2017, release date, with “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” now set to open on that date.
A number of reasons are being cited for the move, with one of the most obvious being the success of “The Force Awakens.” The new release date gives “Episode VIII” an opportunity to follow a similar box office trajectory with a December release.
The extra seven months also give the studio a chance to do some additional work on the movie, which is reportedly being tweaked. People magazine notes: “The news comes after reports that writer/director Rian Johnson is supposedly expanding the roles of the main characters from ‘The Force Awakens’ following the film’s success.”