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Can James Cameron's Avatar 2 raise the stakes and promise box office returns?

James Cameron released the much-awaited trailer of Avatar 2 recently, stoking major fan frenzy. The movie is set for December 16 release with as many as three more sequels coming up.

Devasheesh Pandey Written by: Devasheesh Pandey New Delhi Updated on: May 11, 2022 15:28 IST
Avatar 2 movie

Avatar 2 will release in cinema halls on December 16

There's no other movie that fans want as badly as James Cameron's Avatar 2. The sequel has been titled Avatar: The Way of Water, set for December 16 release. Separately, Cameron has eyed as many as three more sequels set within his Avatar universe. In 2009, when the first Avatar came out, it pushed the 3-D technology to newer heights. 13 years down the line, fans are hoping that Cameron pulls out another visual spectacle from his creative genius and change filmmaking for another decade or so. In the light of Avatar 2 debuting its first footage, hoping to pull back the fans into his mystical world of Pandora, we analyse whether the sequel will actually be worth the wait or not. 

Avatar 2 trailer response

Avatar 2 has been in the making for more than ten years. It is one of the longest periods for a movie to be conceptualised and executed. Given Avatar's massive USD 2.8 billion global box office receipts in 2009, a record that remained untouched for a decade till the release of Marvel Studios' Avengers: Endgame, anticipation is sky high. 

The trailer of Avatar 2 takes us back to Pandora with the lead cast of Zoe Saldana (Neytiri) and Sam Worthington (Jake). The teaser clocked more than 10 million views on the official YouTube page of Avatar in the first 24 hours. Disney claims that it has ammased a massive 148 million views in the first 24 hours of releasing on the internet. These numbers don't factor in those in attendance to see Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness where the teaser was first attached for viewing. 

Fans have rejoiced that the world of Pandora will be revisited through the vision of Cameron and his team. The 'Avatar 2' hashtag has been trending on Twitter since the teaser release, but it has not been able to match up to the record-breaking views that trailers of  Avengers: Infinity War (230 million), Avengers: Endgame (289 million), Spider-Man: No Way Home (355 million) and the recently released Thor: Love And Thunder (209 million) have received in the same time frame. Any chance that people have moved on from Avatar? If yes, is there any way the makers can pull back the old viewers and the newer generation into their magical world. 

Meanwhile, Avatar will be re-released a month before the Avatar 2 hits the screens globally.

Avatar 2- Much hype for what?  

Avatar sequels use a newly created underwater motion-capture technology. Avatar 2 will show off the use of underwater mo-cap technology – something that Cameron designed specifically for the franchise. A 900,000-gallon water tank was built for the sequels. Concept art from Avatar 2 has confirmed that new RDA vehicles will also be involved. The movie will give the feeling of 'being submerged in water'. Some shots from the teaser of Avatar 2 hint at this grand vision of the director. 

According to reports, the upcoming movie is being made on a stunning budget of USD 250 million (Rs. 1,900 crore). The money for its promotion is set at USD 150 million (Rs. 1,140 crore). At over Rs 3000 crore, the budget is beyond staggering and trend-setting.

The Avatar world is unique in its own right but raising the stakes on it sure seems to cost a lot. Cameron’s Avatar was, and still is, the most expensive original movie ever made, with a budget of around USD 240 million (Rs 1,855 crore). The movie turned out to be highly lucrative for the makers but will the sequel re-create the same box office history? Only time will tell whether fans would want a trip back to the world of Pandora. 

Time-period between sequels 

Avatar sequels have a time period of 13 years between them, making them one of the films with the longest time period between releases. Box office figures have dictated that most sequels with such a gap between sequels have been not been able to weave magic in profits, with the exception being Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which had a ten-year period between sequels and The Incredibles 2, which has a 14-year time period. These two movies surpassed their predecessor with a USD 500 million margin or more. With Avatar falling in the same bracket of release gap, will the fandom return to make it the undisputed box office king once more?

But Cameron himself defies these odds. His most notable movies have been sequels, such as Aliens and Terminator 2: Judgment Day. These sequels came out seven years after their predecessor.

Can Avatar sequel expectations match up to the hype?

There is absolutely no doubt that Avatar has topped the list of the movie to watch out for in the past 4-5 years. In the first footage of the sequel, there seems to be more of the same but with a different leaning. The movie revisits the mesmerising flora and fauna of Pandora and more. Shots hint at its larger-than-life visuals and the grit of the makers to go beyond all creative confines. After such a long wait, movie making has touched new horizons and 'visual spectacle' is longer a novelty that is in short supply. Visuals and CGI effects in movies have gotten better since 2009. MCU projects, Star Wars projects, Wizarding World and many more universes on the web look real now. Where can Avatar find its place is the biggest question that will bug fans in the lead to Avatar 2 release? 

What will Disney do with Avatar 3, 4, 5?

Disney will be releasing three more Avatar sequels in the coming time. The box office returns are expected to be lucrative and will be the primary source of revenue for the makers going into the sequels. Plus, its multi-format releases, satellite and streaming revenue and DVD sales are expected to bring in major profit for Disney. This decade may be defined as Avatar's and the coming ones as well depending on the success of the universe. 



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