There is undeniably a major hype around the sequel to the Avatar movie which has been long overdue. So long that it is finally being released nearly 13 years after the first Avatar movie came out in 2009. Titled Avatar: The Way of Water, the epic science fiction film is helmed once again by renowned visionary filmmaker James Cameron who blessed us, the audience, with the fictional world of Pandora and its inhabitants, the Na'avis. Cameron is known for delivering big films which end up hitting big numbers.
Made on a budget of $200 million, his 1997 epic romance and disaster film Titanic starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, ended up bagging 11 prestigious Oscars at the 70th Academy Awards, gross of over $1.84 billion worldwide. This resulted in Titanic being the first ever film in history to reach the billion dollar mark. The film was undefeated for more than a decade with no other film even coming close to it. It remained the highest grossing film of all time until it was finally surpassed in 2009 by yet another James Cameron film - Avatar.
Avatar was an instant worldwide phenomenon ever since it was released. The film was conceptualized in the 90s but since the necessary technology was not yet available to achieve Cameron's vision of the film, it kept being put off. But once a groundbreaking array of new visual effects and new motion capture filming techniques was introduced, Cameron achieved in attaining his vision. The epic science fiction film was made on a whopping budget of around $280 million to $310 million and broke several box-office records upon its release. It ended up taking on the crown as the highest grossing film of all time surpassing Cameron's Titanic, which had held those records for twelve long years. It raked in $2.75 billion at the worldwide box office making it the first ever film in history to hit the $2 billion mark.
Avatar remained the highest-grossing film in the world for nearly a decade until it was overtaken by 2019's Marvel Studio's superhero film Avengers: Endgame. The film was in completion with Avatar for first place in the highest grossing film of all time. The superhero flick eventually took that spot after cashing in $2.8 billion. With an estimated budget of around $356 to 400 million, the film is one of the most expensive films ever made. But after the numerous re-releases, Avatar once again bounced back to the top of the charts taking the number one spot on the table.
Only 5 films have crossed this massive milestone of the $2 billion mark namely, Avatar, Avengers: Endgame, Titanic, Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens ($2.07 billion), and Avengers: Infinity War ($2.04 billion). The closest film that ever came to this ginormous milestone was yet another movie from Marvel Studios, the superhero flick Spider-Man: No Way Home, which managed to cash in $1.97 billion.
Now, Avatar: The Way of Water is mere days away from its grand worldwide theatrical release on 16 December 2022. It is one of the most highly anticipated films for many years now and for good reason. Its prequel amassed quite the name for itself, so much so that fans, critics, and the general audience are more than ecstatic to catch the second installment of it in theatres. It is speculated that the budget for the upcoming film is around $400 million but during a recent interview with GQ magazine, when Cameron was asked what the budget for Avatar: The Way of Water was, he was not quite ready to give a number for it. He just said that it is "very f*****g expensive."
He goes on to say that the film has to be the third or fourth highest grossing film in history to break even. So that is the threshold that Avatar 2 has to hit. Given that James Cameron's movies have a knack for knocking it out of the park and smashing previously held box office records with ease, there is so much expectation and so much riding on the shoulders of this upcoming monolith of a film. Could this be the first-ever film to hit the $3 billion mark? He hit 1B dollars with Titanic, and 2B dollars with Avatar. so it is only natural to assume that Avatar 2 may or may not be the first in the 3B dollar club.
In the same interview, he says that the new film is much more nuanced in terms of performance, and much more complex emotionally by a country mile in comparison to the first film. He says while the first film was more about awe and wonder, the new film is more about the characters.