Avatar: The Way of Water Needs to Earn $2 Billion Just to Break Even

November 23, 2022 12:00 pm

[Source: CBR]

Avatar: The Way of Water will need to be a resounding success to simply break even.

Speaking to GQ, director James Cameron revealed that his long-awaited sequel will need to be one of the best-performing movies of all time to earn back its estimated $250 million budget. When asked about how much money was required to break even, the filmmaker described The Way of Water as “the worst business case in movie history.” He continued on to say that the Avatar sequel will need to be “the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history. That’s your threshold. That’s your break even.”

While the challenge to earn that much money may be daunting, the Avatar franchise has already set a precedent as a colossal profit machine. Cameron’s first film in the franchise, released in 2009, still holds the record for the highest-grossing film of all time, currently sitting at $2.9 billion worldwide. Despite this, the director is aware that times have changed, and the shift in movie-going audiences could impact The Way of Water.

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“We’re in a different world now than we were when I wrote this stuff, even. It’s the one-two punch — the pandemic and streaming,” Cameron said. “Or, conversely, maybe we’ll remind people what going to the theater is all about.

This film definitely does that. The question is: how many people give a s*** now?”

The success of the sequel will also impact the extended future of the franchise. While Cameron has openly stated that he wants to create at least five Avatar films, if The Way of Water fails he’ll need to abandon the last two planned installments.

“If we make some money with two and three, it’s all mapped out,” Cameron said. “Scripts are already written, everything’s designed. So just add water.”

The long-time director also noted that if the fourth and fifth movies do come to fruition, he would likely look for another filmmaker to helm the projects.

Set several years after the first Avatar, the sequel will follow returning characters Jake (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) as they leave the forests of Pandora to start a new life alongside the moon’s oceans.

Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang, both of whom had starring roles in the original film, will return for the sequel and will be joined by Kate Winslet, Vin Diesel and Michelle Yeoh.

Avatar: The Way of Water arrives in theaters on Dec. 16.