Wicked Part 1 Moves Up Its Release Date To Avoid Avatar 3 Competition (Although They Both Star Michelle Yeoh)

Poster for Wicked
(Image credit: Wicked LLC)

The movie release date calendar is an ever-evolving beast as studios are always looking for the best possible way to set up each movie for success. We rarely if ever see more than one major studio release open on the same weekend anymore, and movies will even move out of the way weeks after another release if there’s an expectation a movie might have legs. That’s likely at least part of the reason that Wicked Part 1 has actually moved its release date up from Christmas Day 2024 to November 27.

Originally both parts of the upcoming adaptation of Wicked were set to drop on Christmas Day in 2024 and 2025, and while Deadline reports Part Two’s release date hasn’t moved, part two won’t have to compete with an Avatar movie. Part One was set to open only five days after Avatar 3, and if Avatar: The Way of Water’s box office success proved anything, it’s that the audience for that franchise is still there, and they continue showing up to theaters for weeks.

Fans of Wicked are getting a win here if only in the fact that the movie will now be out a month earlier than previously planned. If there’s another big winner it’s actress Michelle Yeoh. She appears in both films, so fans of the recent Oscar winner won’t need to choose which of her movies they want to see. Yeoh was on hand during the production of both Avatar: The Way of Water and Avatar 3, and she was expected to appear in the recent film, but never actually did, so we can be confident she’ll appear in the next one.

Moving Wicked Part 1 to November 27 may save it from having to go head-to-head with Avatar, but it’s not without risks of its own. Disney's upcoming movie schedule shows that Walt Disney Animation Studios is set to release a new movie itself on that same day. Disney animation has largely staked out the Thanksgiving holiday for new releases for the last several years.

At this point, what that movie will be is unknown. Disney has announced sequels to both Zootopia and Frozen are coming, but those films are probably further down the line. Odds are this will be an original film or an as-yet-unannounced sequel. Either way, there’s about a 50% chance that it could be an animated musical, which would mean musical fans might end up with their own decision to make come Thanksgiving 2024.

Once we have more information on what Disney has planned in that November 2024 spot we may see more moves. Disney may decide to move its movie to another date. Alternatively, if what Disney has planned looks like it could be big, we might even see Wicked move again. Quite a lot is going to happen between now and November 2024. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.