Avatar: The Way of Water needs to make over $2 billion to break even

16 December 2022, 15:08

Watch the Avatar 2: The Way of Water final trailer

Sam  Prance

By Sam Prance

Only five films in the history of cinema have ever grossed more than $2 billion worldwide.

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James Cameron has opened up about how much the Avatar sequel cost and how much it needs to make at the box office.

After over a decade, the wait for Avatar 2 is over. Avatar: The Way of Water is out in cinemas now, 13 years after the original film came out. The movie was originally supposed to come out in 2014. However, new technology had to be developed to capture the film's underwater scenes and production was set back on numerous occasions leading to multiple delays.

With Avatar: The Way of Water finally available to watch, director James Cameron has discussed the cost of making it.

How much did Avatar: The Way of Water cost?

How much did Avatar 2 cost? The Way of Water budget explained
How much did Avatar 2 cost? The Way of Water budget explained. Picture: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection/Alamy Stock Photo

Speaking to GQ about the Avatar 2 budget, James confirmed that it was "very fucking expensive". He said that it represents "the worst business case in movie history." He continued to explain that in order for The Way of Water to be profitable, "you have to be the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history. That’s your threshold. That’s your break even."

For context, all the Top 5 highest-grossing films of all time made over $2 billion at the box office. Avatar made $2.92 billion, Avengers: Endgame made $2.79 billion, Titanic made $2.18 billion, Star Wars: The Force Awakens made $2.07 billion and Avengers: Infinity War made $2.05 billion.

In other words, The Way of Water has to make over $2 billion and more than Infinity War to make a profit. As it stands, James is yet to specify how much the Avatar sequel cost but initial production estimates were around $250 million.

21st Century Fox executive chairman Lachlan Murdoch has also claimed that the Avatar sequels are set to be "the most expensive movies of all time".

Director James Cameron arrives at the Avatar premiere
Director James Cameron arrives at the Avatar premiere. Picture: Getty

Since the pandemic films have struggled to perform as well as they have done in the past. Nevertheless, this year, Spider-Man: No Way Home has made $1.9 billion in the box office and Top Gun: Maverick made $1.4 billion so it's possible that Avatar: The Way of Water will reach its goal.

While Avatar 3 is already in the works, James recently told Total Film that Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 will be cancelled if the sequel underperforms. He said that they will complete the story with Avatar 3 "if it’s just not profitable" to continue.

What do you think? Will you be watching Avatar 2?

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