Never Bet Against James Cameron
The march to $2 Billion is finally over as Avatar: The Way of Water has officially passed Spider-Man: No Way Home. Easily the biggest surprise of 2021 was the third entry of the Tom Holland series. It helped that it saw the return of both Andrew Garfield and Tobey McGuire in a spidey suit, but no one really expected it to become the global phenomenon that it did. Spider-Man: No Way Home revitalized the movie theater experience after the coronavirus pandemic effectively put it in stasis for about two years.
If Spider-Man: No Way Home was actually released in China, then it would’ve gotten to 2 billion easily. However, Avatar: The Way of Water seems posed to take that sixth spot with ease. Thus far, the James Cameron sequel has made over $2 billion worldwide, and there are no signs of that slowing down anytime soon. Say what you will about James Cameron; however, nobody can call the filmmaker a flop. James Cameron currently has three films in the top ten grossing list of all time: Titanic, Avatar, and of course, Avatar: The Way of Water. Cameron clearly understands the audience better than most filmmakers, as it’s not a coincidence that his movies keep making huge bank at the box office.
Avatar: The Way of Water Isn’t Making Much of A Splash At Award Shows
Avatar: The Way of Water doesn’t seem to be making much of a splash on the awards front, though. The sequel was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Director at the Golden Globes. However, it ultimately left the awards show empty-handed. However, considering the fact that it’s the Golden Globes, that may not be too bad of a thing. Despite its lack of success on the awards front, James Cameron and Disney clearly have a lucrative franchise on their hands. Expect the company to milk the hell out of this series beyond the expected five films, though that’s pure speculation on my end.
The tricky thing about Avatar: The Way of Water is that it’s very expensive to make. Though Cameron overblew the estimate by stating that the film needed to make 2 billion, the production costs were still a staggering $460 million. Obviously, Disney can rest assured that the film will make bank as it’s nearly at two billion, but the real question is whether Avatar is able to maintain such momentum. Arguably one of the things that helped the sequel is the fact that it hasn’t oversaturated the market. Marvel is currently learning this lesson the hard way due to their content on both Disney Plus and theaters. Though, to be fair, Disney and Marvel haven’t exactly spit out great content across the board lately.
Can Avatar: The Way of The Water Surpass The First Film?
It was definitely risky that the sequel took 13 years to make. On the other hand, the top two grossing films of 2022 are Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way of Water. Both of these films took well over ten years to make and managed to gross big at the box office. These movies managed to get audiences excited to go to the theaters again, something that plenty of other films have failed to do. However, the chances of it passing the first Avatar are slim to none. The film doesn’t have any true competition until M. Night Shyamalan’s Knock at the Cabin on Feb. 3. That’s one full week left, and it does seem as if the buzz is dying down at this point. Though, to be fair, Avatar did have a couple of re-releases that helped boost its box office gross.
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