Avatar creator James Cameron is ready to end the saga with Avatar 3 if Avatar: The Way of Water isn’t successful. Speaking to Total Film, the acclaimed filmmaker expressed concerns about the success of the franchise, citing the COVID-19 pandemic and streaming platforms as obstacles to his box office glory. Cameron has three more films planned in the franchise, bringing the total to five Avatar films, though his future now hinges on the theatrical performance of Avatar 2. The original film released in 2009 is the highest-grossing picture of all time. , having collected $2.923 billion (about Rs. 24,016 crore) at the global box office.
Of course, expecting the sequel to reach a similar milestone weeks before its December 16 release is a stretch. But director Cameron expects to bring as many people back to theaters with Avatar: The Way of the Water. “The market could tell us we’re done in three months, or we could be half done, which means, ‘Okay, let’s finish the story in movie three, and don’t go on endlessly, if not. is simply not profitable…” he tells Total Film. “We’re in a different world now than we were when I wrote that stuff, even. It’s the one-two punch – the pandemic and streaming. Or, conversely, people may be reminded of going to the theater. This movie definitely does. The question is: how many people don’t care now? »
Cameron clearly acknowledges the possibility that Avatar: The Way of Water may not perform as well as its predecessor. Even as the biggest movie of all time, in its opening weekend, Avatar grossed just $242 million (about Rs 1,987 crore) worldwide, showing its prowess over the months, eventually surpassing his own 1997 film. Titanic become the greatest movie of all time. For reference, the Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio-directed movie earned $2.195 billion (about Rs. 18,032 crore) at the global box office.
The success of Avatar in 2009 cemented Cameron’s position at 20th Century Fox as a writer, having created such acclaimed films as Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Aliens. With Disney’s acquisition of the studio in 2019, the filmmaker now has greater financial backing, although he expects a big return on investment. If Avatar 2 underperforms, the franchise could be cut short before it reaches the fifth and final film. In 2019, the director praised the theatrical performance of Avengers: Endgame as proof that people are still up for watching movies in theaters. However, the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns have changed the landscape, urging audiences to stay home and catch up on their favorite media through streaming services.
Avatar: The Way of Water and Avatar 3 – apparently titled Avatar: The Seed Bearer – wrapped filming with the main cast in November 2018, adding Winslet to the mix. According to Variety, the first act of the fourth film has already been shot, as revealed by producer Jon Landau. “We have completed most of the first act of Avatar 4 and there were logistical reasons why we had to do this,” he said at the Busan International Film Festival, held at beginning of last month. “We designed most of the movie for Avatar 4, but we haven’t filmed everything yet, just the first act.” The producer also revealed that each sequel will introduce new biomes and cultures, set within the Pandora landscape, without leaving behind “the cultures we encountered”.
20th Century Studios released a trailer for Avatar: The Way of Water last week, offering some clues to the plot, which involves a “connection” theme. The film, which takes place more than a decade after the original, brings back Zoe Saldaña and Sam Worthington as headliners, and is reportedly 3 hours and 10 minutes long. “I can almost write that part of the review. “The horribly long three hour movie…” It’s like, give me a fucking break. I saw my kids sit down and do five hour-long episodes in a row. Here’s the big social paradigm shift that needs to happen: it’s okay to get up and go pee,” Cameron told Empire Magazine, anticipating criticism of the length.
Avatar: The Way of Water hits theaters worldwide on December 16. In India, the film gets additional Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu dubs.