A new report reveals how expensive Avatar: The Way of Water is and it could spell trouble for the future of James Cameron’s sci-fi movie franchise.
A new report reveals the budget for James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water and it’s massive. The upcoming Avatar sequel finally releases in theaters on December 16 after a thirteen-year wait and will see Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, and Stephen Lang reprise their respective roles as Jake Sully, Neytiri, and Colonel Miles Quaritch. Set a decade after the events of the first film, Sully, who is now a Na’vi, has built a family with Neytiri in Pandora, and must protect his home from humans as the RDA returns and exacts war against the Na’vi.
Now, a recent piece from THR has reportedly revealed the budget for Avatar: The Way of Water. According to sources close to the production, the movie is one of the priciest in Hollywood history, costing between $350 million to $400 million. With Disney having spent over $1 billion over the four Avatar sequels, it’s no surprise that the movie would be more expensive than the first installment, which cost $237 million.
How The Way Of Water’s Bigger Budget Affects The Franchise’s Future
With Avatar: The Way of Water reportedly costing over $400 million, the high price of the sequel could spell trouble for the franchise’s future. Add marketing costs, and the price tag could be even more expensive by the time the film releases in theaters. The first Avatar is the highest-grossing movie of all time, having made over $2.923 billion worldwide at the box office. For Avatar: The Way of Water to have a successful theatrical run, it must at least make $2 billion at the box office to break even and recoup its large budget
However, only two films have made over $1 billion at the box office since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic – Spider-Man: No Way Home and Top Gun: Maverick. While superhero movies have flourished since theaters have reopened, few franchise films have been as successful as the MCU and DCU. Spider-Man: No Way Home impressively made over $1 billion during the cusp of the Omicron variant wave and supplanted any competition, including The Matrix Resurrections, a sequel to one of the most successful film trilogies of all time, which bombed at the box office.
Since Avatar: The Way of Water is a highly-anticipated sequel, it could make over $1 billion at the box office. But many fans have wondered if the movie will recapture the same success as the original since 3D has become a fad for most moviegoers. In 2009, Cameron introduced the world to a new approach to digital 3D with Avatar. However, after its release, many studios post-converted their blockbusters to 3D, and the result wasn’t the same as when a film was shot in native 3D. But now that 3D is no longer a novel technology and has been mostly dismissed throughout and prior to the pandemic, the sequel may not make the desired box office numbers to break even and could put Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 in jeopardy. Cameron confirmed that Avatar 3 would get released no matter what the reception for his previous sequel would be, but the production of Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 is contingent on the success of the next two movies. Time will tell if Avatar: The Way of Water will sweep the box office when it releases exclusively in theaters on December 16.