If you’re a betting man, the chances of Avatar: The Way of Water becoming a $2 billion film seem complicated. With the pandemic and the hit/miss reaction to 2009 original, Avatar 2 and its journey at the box office has everyone on the edge of their seat.
No one is more curious and critical of Avatar: The Way of Water’s future success than James Cameron. In a recent interview with GQ Magazine, the director got candid about the money needed for the long-anticipated to be considered a hit.
GQ Magazine asked Cameron about the sequel’s budget, and the filmmaker hilarious noted that it was “very fucking [expensive].”
He even stressed to Disney and 20th Century Studios executives that his sequel budget was so high it represented “the worst business case in movie history.”
To give people a gauge of what it needs to make at the box office to be deemed a success. According to the director’s estimates, “you have to be the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history. That’s your threshold. That’s your break even.”
For reference, James Cameron’s 2009 film Avatar is currently the highest-grossing film of all time, with $2.9 billion. Just behind it is Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame, with an impressive $2.7 million. Rounding out the top three is Cameron’s epic Titanic, which brought home a whopping $2.1 billion. Per Cameron’s numbers, Avatar: The Way of Water would need to overthrow Star Wars: The Force Awakens’s $2.07 billion or Avengers: Infinity War’s $2.05 billion to make some money.
During the pandemic, a billion-dollar film seems a bit rarer, let alone a two-billion-dollar juggernaut. Spider-Man: No Way Home and Top Gun: Maverick brought in over a billion: $1.9 billion and $1.4 billion, respectively.
Avatar: The Way of Water can still make some money at the box office, with the winter movie season relatively empty and interest for the sequel rising. Only time will tell, but the next few weeks for Disney, Cameron, and the Avatar franchise will be exciting.
Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, “Avatar: The Way of Water” begins to tell the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their kids), the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure.
Avatar: The Way of Water is directed by James Cameron and sees Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Matt Gerald, Dileep Rao, Stephen Lang, Giovanni Ribisi, and Sigourney Weaver all reprising their roles from the 2009 blockbuster, while new additions to the cast include Kate Winslet, Oona Chaplin, Cliff Curtis, Britain Dalton, Filip Geljo, Jamie Flatters, Bailey Bass, Trinity Bliss, Jack Champion, Duane Evans Jr., Edie Falco, Brendan Cowell, Michelle Yeoh, Jemaine Clement, Keston John, and CJ Jones.
Journey back to Pandora when Avatar: The Way of Water is released in cinemas on December 16th, 2022.