This is one of those things that wasn't really a surprise and considering the online reaction, it's even less of one. Yesterday, Warner Bros. dropped some new footage for the upcoming Shazam: Fury of the Gods and confirmed that the movie is going to be very similar to the first movie in terms of tone which was good considering the first one was excellent. Then Disney hosted their panel today and they finally dropped footage for Avatar 2 or Avatar: The Way of Water and the internet kind of lost its damn mind a little bit. Everyone is apparently really excited about this movie despite being well over a decade since the first one came out. Warner Bros. apparently saw that excitement and decided that it was time to blink at least a little. According to Deadline, instead of opening the same day as Avatar: The Way of Water on December 21st, Shazam: Fury of the Gods will now open on December 16th.
Personally, I thought that Warner Bros. swapped Aquaman and the Lost City and Shazam: Fury of the Gods because of the threat of Avatar 2. There is a good chance that of the two movies, Shazam has a smaller budget and thus doesn't need to be a billion-dollar movie to break even. The first one was a modest success and if budgeted properly, that could be what Warner Bros. is shooting for when it comes to this one as well. That five-day cushion could be really helpful when it comes to getting a strong couple of days before Avatar hits.
Shazam: Fury of the Gods, directed by David F. Sandberg, stars Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Djimon Hounsou, Rachel Zegler, Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu, Faithe Herman, Meagan Good, Grace Fulton, Ian Chen, Ross Butler, Jovan Armand, D. J. Cotrona, Marta Milans, and Cooper Andrews. It will be released on December 16th.