Disney has announced that "Star Wars: Episode VIII" will now be released December 15, 2017, shifting from the original release date of May 25, 2017.
Though the knee-jerk reaction on the internet will be that something's wrong with production on "Episode VIII"— the next sequel in the chronology after "The Force Awakens," which will be directed by Rian Johnson ("Looper") — there's been no news of the film being in trouble, and it's likely that after the enormous success of "The Force Awakens" in its holiday release, Disney wants to repeat the same model. Also, placing the film a week before Christmas means it gets the holiday crowd before "Avatar 2" opens on Christmas day.
And Disney isn't exactly conceding the start of the summer-movie season. The company has also announced that "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" will open May 26, 2017, with Johnny Depp returning as Captain Jack Sparrow.