Avatar The Way of Water: Moviegoers are excited to see Pandora again.
James Cameron’s upcoming epic adventure, “Avatar: The Way of Water,” is anticipated to make at least $150 million domestically when it opens in theatres in December. According to early tracking, the opening weekend revenue could soar even higher to $175 million or more. Since “Avatar: The Way of Water” has been developing for years, Cameron has missed multiple deadlines and release dates in his quest to use the latest technological and cinematic advancements.
In 2009, the first “Avatar” garnered $77 million upon its premiere (worth noting, however, that there was a significant snowstorm in the U.S. that weekend, which muted grosses). Due to its creative usage of 3D, it continued to grow and eventually became a box office sensation. In the end, “Avatar” brought in $2.7 billion worldwide. With the box office still battling to recover and important territories like Russia closed to Hollywood, it will be difficult to duplicate that number beyond COVID.
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The news that “Avatar: The Way of Water” will debut concurrently in China gave the movie some momentum this week. For studios, it has been challenging to break into that market. In recent years, government regulators have given Hollywood movies unfavorable release dates to boost the nation’s film industry and as political tensions with the United States have risen.
Avatar 2 needs all the aid it can get since, as Cameron made clear, it has a hefty price tag. Cameron claimed that it had “the worst business case in movie history” in an interview with GQ, adding that “you have to be the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history.” Your threshold is that. Your break even is there.
When the movie hits theatres on December 16, “Avatar: The Way of Water” will attempt to surpass that benchmark.
Is The Avatar The Way of Water The Most Expensive Movie Ever Made?
The fact that “Avatar: The Way of Water” might be the most expensive movie ever made is tucked away at the end of THR’s reporting. This has not yet been discussed. Its estimated original cost was $250 million, but COVID caused the budget to soar.
The current estimate for production costs is $350-$400 million. This does not include the barrage of marketing and advertising supporting James Cameron’s 192-minute epic. The films “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” would no longer hold the record.
I’m still having trouble understanding how Cameron could claim that for his sequel to “break even,” it would need to be the fourth-highest-grossing movie of all time. Since the $400 million price tag plus marketing makes more sense, I’ve always assumed he meant domestically.
Funny fact: Cameron acknowledged yelling at the Fox executive to “Get the Fuck out of my office!” when he was pressed about The Way of Water’s 192-minute running time.