James Cameron appeared on the latest episode of HBO Max and CNN’s “Who’s Talking To Chris Wallace?” and declared that his second “Avatar” movie will “easily” reach the break-even point in global box office revenue. He affirmed that the film’s success does mean that he’ll indeed make not just “Avatar 3” (which was mostly completed before “The Way of Water” opened last month) but also not-yet-greenlit “Avatar 4” and “Avatar 5.”
““It looks like just with the momentum that the film has now that will easily pass our break even in the next few days, so it looks like I can’t wiggle out of this,” Cameron joked. “I’m gonna have to do these other sequels.”
“I know what I’m going to be doing the next six or seven years,” the Oscar-winning filmmaker continued. “The point is we’re going to be okay. I’m sure that we’ll have a discussion soon with with the top folks at Disney about the game plan going forward for Avatar 3, which is already in the can – we’ve already captured and photographed the whole film so we’re in extended post-production to do all that CG magic. And then Avatar 4 and 5 are both written. We even have some of 4 in the can. We’ve begun a franchise at this point. We’ve begun a saga that can now play out over multiple films.”
Cameron previously stated that the film needed to be one of the biggest global grossers ever just to break even, which led to a media narrative declaring that $2 billion worldwide was the make-or-break point.
“To clarify, I never actually gave it a number,” Cameron said. “I said it would has to be among the highest-grossing films in history and somebody else applied that number and it got picked up. The number is actually less.”
The director also discussed that picture with Wallace, namely that the disaster romance was a metaphor for societal indifference to global warming.
“The captain died with a pocket full of radio telegram warnings about ice ahead but they still steamed full tilt because they thought they could get away with it and the unthinkable wouldn’t happen – and it happened,” Cameron said. “We live in the 90 seconds between the time they saw the iceberg and when they were unable to turn.”
“Avatar: The Way of Water” is now the ninth-biggest grossing movie of all-time, with over $1.5 billion thus far and a possible worldwide finish of over $2 billion. With the picture still going strong, including jumping +6.4% from its second domestic weekend ($63 million) to its third ($67 million), it’s possible that the Sam Worthington/Zoe Saldana-led fantasy will pass $2 billion and perhaps the $2.2 billion lifetime (including reissues) of “Titanic.”
Barring a scheduling change, the third “Avatar” film will be released on Dec. 20, 2024.