Avatar 2 Already On Track To Flop
Avatar 2 is being projected to gross far under what it will require to be a financial success.
Early estimates are suggesting Disney’s Avatar: The Way Of Water may be staring down the barrel of a financial disaster. According to internal polling data reported by Cosmic Book News, estimates are suggesting the long-awaited James Cameron film may gross only $150 million domestically when Avatar 2 hits theaters next month, with the most optimistic estimates weighing in at about $175 million. While these multimillion-dollar figures would be a godsend to a bank account like yours or mine, this is a shocking underperformance for a film 13 years in the making with an unprecedented production budget in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Disney’s most recent Marvel outing, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, for comparison, had a budget of roughly $250 million and grossed $181 million domestically. These figures are similar to that of the most recent installment in the Benedict Cumberbatch-led Doctor Strange film series, which closed at the box office with an estimated $411 million. After the record-breaking numbers of the first Avatar film back in 2009, these figures represent an estimated 60% drop for Avatar 2.
In addition to all this number crunching, Avatar: The Way Of Water has a run time of more than three hours, leaving many fans wondering if the film has the pacing and prose to incentivize multiple viewings and sore backsides. Furthermore, while the original film made an enormous splash for its technological achievements, it is widely regarded to have weak characters and a very rudimentary story, causing many to wonder if the second installment will remain in the cultural conversation for years to come, or fizzle out and be known only for its visual flair.
James Cameron also made waves with his recent comments stating that Avatar 2 would need to outperform Tom Holland’s Spider-Man No Way Home as well as the most recent J.J. Abrahams Star Wars trilogy just to break even, requiring the film to pull in over $2 billion worldwide. Though The Way Of Water is projected to do well overseas, especially in China, we’re still not expecting figures of quite that magnitude. James Cameron has even put the fate of the remaining scheduled Avatar sequels on the line, stating simply that the market will dictate the interest of the public in seeing more of Pandora and its blue inhabitants.
James Cameron is known to be experimental and bold, both in his personal exploits and directorial choices, so it’s interesting to see his work tested in this way. If Avatar 2 bombs at the box office, what does that say for filmmaking that demands advancements in technology to move forward, requiring over a decade of hard work and computation skills?
Avatar: The Way Of Water opens domestically on December 16th, and follows Sam Worthington’s Jake alongside Zoe Saldaña’s Ney’tiri as they struggle to keep their family together while exploring the untouched regions of the mythical world of Pandora and staving off an incoming war with a human military. If this sounds exciting to you, perhaps consider gathering a few million of your closest friends and running to your local theater. James Cameron will certainly thank you for your patronage.