Since the moment Disney’s acquisition of Fox became official, I’ve been frantically refreshing Disney’s website hoping, pleading, for Avatar 10th anniversary merchandise. “Come on!” I yelled impatiently at my computer screen, ernately cursing Bob Iger’s name and pleading with him as if he could hear me, explaining out loud how 2019 marks the tenth year since my first trip to Pandora, and how I desperately needed to purchase something with an official logo on it to celebrate the occasion.
I’m happy to report that I will finally rest easy tonight, because at Pandora – The World of Avatar at W Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, that sweet, sweet Avatar merch is finally on sale. I mean, who wouldn’t want an Avatar 10 year anniversary water bottle?!
DisneyParks official blog gets it. “Today, we’ve got a first look for our readers showcasing commemorative merchandise celebrating the anniversary of the film!” they said this morning, complete with that exclamation point and the italics on “first look” because they know how badly people want this. Check out this hot, hot merch:
No need for a double take: your eyes caught that correctly the first time. Disney indeed went all out and made that water bottle out of mother effing stainless steel. Holy shit, right? Good thing the holidays are coming up, because every single person I know is getting one of those bad boys in their stocking.
And how about that – an Avatar T-shirt! It’s like I always say: “Hey, why haven’t I ever seen anyone wear an Avatar T-shirt before? Wasn’t that the biggest movie of all time for an entire decade?”
And what about this lithograph? Well…OK, I have to admit that while this entire article has been dripping with sarcasm, I actually do think this is a beautiful image. If there are any Avatar fans out there and I’m not fully convinced they exist anymore, I imagine that this really would be a nice present to receive for the holidays. That way, every time the Avatar sequels get delayed again, they can look up this image in a frame on their wall, lean back, lace their fingers behind their heads, heave a sigh of relief, and exclaim, “Well, at least we got the first one!”
Avatar 2 is currently slated to arrive on December 17, 2021, with the following three sequels to be released on December 22, 2023, December 19, 2025 and December 17, 2027, respectively.
Disney+ may benefit from further delays with the studio's theatrical releases as more movies may be going directly to the streaming service in the future. This, according to former Disney CEO and current Executive Chairman Bob Iger. It was recently revealed that Artemis Fowl will debut on Disney+ sometime this year, skipping a theatrical release. As Iger explains, that may not be the only title to make the move from theatrical to streaming, but don't expect to see it happen with the studio's upcoming tentpole releases.
Given what's going on in the world right now, most movie theaters are shut down entirely and virtually all major releases through June have been delayed. Some have wondered if Disney might put movies like Black Widow or Mulan on Disney+ instead. While that won't be happening, Bob Iger isn't ruling out other movies making the shift. Here's what Iger had to say about it in a recent interview.
'There are some we've decided to put on Disney+. We already announced one, Artemis Fowl, that would have been released in theaters. Others we've simply delayed. In some cases we've moved things onto Disney+ faster than we would have. Frozen 2 was one of them, but Onward would be the biggest example. It was in theaters when this happened.'
'We moved to a pay-per-view period for a couple of weeks where people could buy it and own it. And then we ended up putting it on Disney+. In terms of movies going ahead after Artemis, there may be a few more that we end up putting directly onto Disney+, but for the most part a lot of the big tentpole Disney films, we'll simply wait for slots. In some cases we've announced new ones already, but later on in the calendar.'
There is a lot to unpack here. Black Widow and several other delayed movies were recently given new release dates as Disney reshuffled its 2020/2021 calendar. Black Widow and other big-budget tentpoles stand to make far more money in theaters, even with a relatively uncertain future ahead, than they could possibly generate via streaming. So putting movies like them directly on Disney+ doesn't make that much business sense.
In the meantime, taking riskier projects such as Artemis Fowl and giving Disney+ subscribers something flashy and exclusive is helpful. But what other movies might fit the bill for streaming debuts? The New Mutants perhaps? Whatever the case, as Bob Iger points out, the studio is content to wait until things return to normal. Disney, more than any other studio in Hollywood, is capable of raking in big dollars at the box office. So this truly isn't that surprising.
Other studios, on the other hand, may see value in doing a VOD/Digital release. Universal kicked that door wide open a couple of weeks back by putting recent releases such as The Invisible Man and The Hunt online. Trolls: World Tour, which was destined for theaters, will arrive digitally this month. Disney has not yet set a premiere date for Artemis Fowl, but it's...
Disney+ has introduced the classic X-Men cartoon series avatars. The iconic TV series came out in the early 1990s and is what a lot of fans still think of when they think of the comic book characters. The series can be seen on the streaming service, but these new avatars have some believing that a new animated series could be on the way. While that has not been officially confirmed, we do know that Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige will be bringing the characters into the Marvel Cinematic Universe at some point.
X-Men characters Cyclops, Wolverine, Rogue, Storm, Beast, Gambit, Jubilee, Jean Grey, Professor X, and Magneto can all be chosen as an avatar on Disney+. They all look like they did in the original animated series with a modern update, though Storm has a mohawk and Gambit does not have a cowl. Other than that, these are a nice addition to the avatars that Disney already had in place, which includes their original characters, Pixar characters, Star Wars, and more.
With the sudden addition of the classic X-Men characters, many fans are wondering why Disney+ chose to do it now. While it might not really mean much in terms of the future, it could prove that a lot of people are streaming the 90s series on the platform. While many were excited about what the Disney/Fox deal would do for the MCU and the big screen side of things, others were happy at the chance to see the original cartoon series again. The new avatars are not in the Marvel section of Disney+. Instead, they're in their own X-Men category.
Marvel fans have been waiting a long time to see the Fox properties all under the same MCU umbrella. Now that it's a reality, it's really only a matter of time before the X-Men and others end up being incorporated on the big screen. However, people are going to have to wait a decent amount of time before the characters get their MCU makeover. The MCU's Phase 4 will start when Black Widow is released, which should be at some point this year. The movie was originally supposed to hit theaters on May 1st, but has since been delayed indefinitely.
Disney+ and other streaming services are seeing an uptick in viewership due to everybody staying indoors. With the addition of the X-Men avatars, maybe Disney will introduce the Fox movies to the North American service. That would also be a pretty big deal for fans who have been waiting for that since November 2019 when the streaming platform launched. Regardless, Marvel fans can head over to their Disney+ profiles and give them an animated Marvel makeover right now. If you need to sign up, go visit the official Disney+ app site to sign up and enjoy a 7-day free trial to get a feel for things.
MARVEL X-MEN PROFILE AVATARS AVAILABLE NOW ON DISNEY+ pic.twitter.com/FEe5RwzTNg
— Jᴇᴀɴ ɢʀᴇʏ Fᴀɴᴘᴀɢᴇ @JeanGreyFanPage April 1, 2020