After more than a decade of waiting, Avatar: The Way of Water is set to hit theaters later next month, and with it comes extremely high expectations as far as box office receipts go.
According to Variety, the highly anticipated James Cameron film needs to break box office records just for the budget to break even as apparently the film cost a whopping $2 billion just to get made. That’s right, Avatar 2 needs to become the third of fourth highest-grossing film just to match it’s production budget, and chances are that won’t be happening for a while.
Cameron apparently told Disney and 20th Century Studios executives that his sequel budget was so high it represented “the worst business case in movie history.” 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.”
On the current chart of highest-grossing movies worldwide (unadjusted for inflation), Cameron’s original 2009 “Avatar” ranks at the top with $2.9 billion. Disney’s “Avengers: Endgame” is in second position with $2.7 million, while Cameron’s “Titanic” remains in the third slot with $2.1 billion. That means, according to Cameron, that if “Avatar: The Way of Water” wants to break even, it’ll need to overtake either “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ($2.07 billion) or “Avengers: Infinity War” ($2.05 billion) in the fourth or fifth slots, respectively.
Yeah, we’re not entirely sure Avatar: The Way of Water will be reaching that milestone within the first few months of it’s release. Had Cameron struck while the Avatar iron was red hot and dropped a sequel within five years of the original film being released, maybe he’d have a shot. But waiting 13 years to release a sequel might’ve not been the best route to go. Who knows if the Avatar franchise still has those hardcore fans that helped make it the highest-grossing film of all-time.
Still, we all know that Avatar: The Way of Water will dominate the box office once it premiers on Dec. 16, but hitting that $2 billion mark may prove difficult with streaming services and whatnot being readily available to the public.
Check out the latest trailer to Avatar: The Way of Water below and let us know if James Cameron can count on your money helping his film cross the $2 billi mark in the comments section.