Cheerleader Scott Mendelson explains:
We got word yesterday that Paramount/Viacom Inc. is moving the Tim Miller-directed and James Cameron-produced Terminator reboot from November 15, 2019, to November 1, 2019. That Skydance flick, along with Sony’s Charlie’s Angels reboot, are both moving into the Nov. 1 slot recently vacated by Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman 1984 after it moved to June 5, 2020. This comes on the heels of Daniel Craig’s James Bond 25 trading Danny Boyle for Cary Fukunaga and moving from November 9, 2019, to February 14, 2020. Oh, and thanks to the Disney/Fox deal, Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile will be opening on October 2, 2020, instead of December 20, 2019. What this means is that three of the big year-end 2019 titles are now opening in 2020. And that’s excellent news for Star Wars Episode 9.
If this all holds, November’s biggies will be Charlie’s Angels, Terminator, Sonic the Hedgehog and Frozen 2. While December will once again be mostly barren between Thanksgiving and the pre-Christmas rush, with only Jumanji 3 and Cats providing in-the-moment competition and little beyond Fox’s animated Call of the Wild and New Line’s Melissa McCarthy comedy Superintelligence for Christmas. With Wonder Woman 1984, James Bond 25 and Death on the Nile no longer in the equation, that positions Star Wars 9 as, by far, the biggest live-action biggie of the year-end season. Star Wars will be THE event movie of the season, give or take how leggy Frozen 2 turns out to be. If the biggest problem for Walt Disney’s Star Wars is Walt Disney’s Frozen 2, that’s not exactly a problem.
The problem that Scott is having in his argument with regards to the third chapter in a trilogy increasing 20% from the second chapter, is that those happened in trilogies that had characters which the audience cared about.
Does anyone care about the fate of Rey, Finn, Poe, or Kylo at this point? Maybe. But certainly far fewer do after The Last Jedi than before it. And even less so, after the awful misbehavior of Lucasfilm representatives towards critical fans.
But what this ultimately means is that competition in the theater will no longer be an adequate excuse for the box office failure of Episode IX, as long as this schedule holds.