“Avatar 2” Still Hasn’t Turned In A Profit, Despite $2 Billion In Box Office Revenue
— Updated on 13 February 2023

“Avatar 2” Still Hasn’t Turned In A Profit, Despite $2 Billion In Box Office Revenue

— Updated on 13 February 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

UPDATE [04/01/2023]: Now entering the third week of its theatrical run, James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water has raked in US$1.4 billion (~AU$2 billion) at the global box office.

By most measures, that would be a tremendous success for Disney. It’s already the 14th highest-grossing movie in history and stands to climb even higher as the weeks roll out. And yet, Avatar: The Way of Water is still yet to make a profit, which reiterates just how much of an investment the blockbuster has been for the studio.

Its global box office places Avatar: The Way of Water just behind Furious 7, which sits at US$1.5 billion (~AU$2.2 billion) in revenue. There’s virtually no shred of doubt that James Cameron’s latest project will be surpassing that figure any second now. Most likely, once this article is published.

It’s interesting to note that the film may have already hit its profitability target by now if it wasn’t for the lengthy runtime of 3 hours and 12 minutes. Because of the hefty length, theatres would generally pocket more revenue for the film given The Way of Water requires more screen time.

Original Article – ‘Avatar 2’ Is So Expensive, It Must Become One Of History’s Highest-Grossing Films Just To Break Even

Early reports indicated the Avatar: The Way of Water budget had ballooned to an almost untenable US$250 million, making it one of the most expensive Hollywood films ever produced. But according to director James Cameron, who currently refuses to outline a specific number, this could very well be just the tip of the iceberg (rimshot).

“Very fucking expensive,” was the only answer Cameron was willing to offer when prompted by GQ Magazine, adding how he’d notified 20th Century Studios that his long-awaited sequel represents “the worst business case in movie history.”

“You have to be the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history. That’s your threshold. That’s your break-even.”

RELATED: ‘Avatar – The Way Of Water’ Was Actually Worth 13 Years Of Waiting

“I like difficult. I’m attracted by difficult. Difficult is a fucking magnet for me. I go straight to difficult.”

“And I think it probably goes back to this idea that there are lots of smart, really gifted, really talented filmmakers out there that just can’t do the difficult stuff. So that gives me a tactical edge to do something nobody else has ever seen, because the really gifted people don’t fucking want to do it.”

That isn’t an exaggeration, either.

Aside from the first Avatar franchise instalment – which itself incurred a production cost close to US$250 million before factoring in inflation; eventually generating close to US$3 billion in box office receipts – there’s the matter of Titanic.

Due to the wildly ambitious nature of the project that’s since been immortalised in the pantheon of legendary-status cinema, James Cameron’s historical romance starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet required upwards of US$200 million. Less than both Avatar flicks on paper, sure, although it’s worth keeping in mind this was back in 1996. Meaning this was nothing short of unprecedented.

RELATED: ‘Avatar 2’ On Track To Make $765 Million In First Weekend Alone

Cameron believed in his vision so much, in fact, that when Titanic ran out of money, he famously forfeited his entire US$8 million salary to keep the engine running and accepted back-end points as his sole monetary compensation.

As you all know, his gamble would pay off in spades. Not only would Titanic generate well over US$2 billion at the box office – making it the highest-grossing film of all time until James Cameron surpassed himself a decade later with Avatar – it’d win 11 out of the 14 Academy Award nominations received, launch Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet into new stratospheres of stardom, plus allow Old Jimmy to pocket an eye-watering sum of US$650 million for his troubles. Bananas.

If the past is anything to go by, every single dime thank’s been sunken into the Avatar: The Way of Water budget will prove to be a worthwhile investment.

Avatar: The Way Of Water Trailer #2 Is, In A Word, Breathtaking

RELATED: James Cameron In Discussion To Reboot ‘Terminator’ Franchise

Assuming the rest of the franchise’s production timeline plays out as intended, here’s when we can expect the remaining three films after The Way of Water (titles subject to change):

  • Avatar 3: The Seed Bearer – December 20th of 2024
  • Avatar 4: The Tulkun Rider – December 18th of 2026
  • Avatar 5: The Quest for Eywa – December 22nd of 2028

Hailing the return of Australia’s own Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana, James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way Of Water has officially reserved December 16th of 2022 for its release date, giving blockbusters from rival studios ample warning to steer clear – check out the latest trailer below.

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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