According to Disney’s most recent earnings call, Avatar: The Way of Water has shattered yet another record as the media giant’s biggest digital release of all time in the domestic market. This comes as a huge surprise to many, as the film was made with the spectacle of the theater in mind, leaving most predictions to suggest the film would perform best on the big screen and not in home sales.
Avatar: The Way of Water was a gorgeous experience in theaters, but surprisingly, it’s also Disney’s best-selling digital release of all time.
Of course, Avatar: The Way of Water has garnered something of a reputation for shattering records after its initial theater run was mired by predictions of the film flopping and failing to make back its gargantuan budget. After a short time in theaters, the film managed to do much more than make its money back, hitting a meteoric rise that saw a $2.3 billion return.
This marks Avatar: The Way of Water as the third highest-grossing box office film of all time, finishing only behind 2019’s Avengers: Endgame and James Cameron’s original 2009 Avatar film, which holds the number one spot. Though Disney did not initially produce the first installment in the franchise, the corporation took on the assets in 2019 during its acquisition of 21st Century Fox and all its holdings, meaning all three of the highest-grossing films of all time fall under the Disney corporate umbrella.
Of course, Avatar: The Way of Water didn’t stop making money for its corporate overlords at the box office, as Disney’s earnings call presentation confirms the film’s recent digital release has shattered records as the highest the company has ever seen. The film, which is available to stream through Disney+ or purchase through other video-on-demand platforms such as Amazon Prime, continues barreling onward as an enormous financial success, holding an incredibly positive favor among repeat viewers.
The Future Of Avatar
This is fantastic news for auteur filmmaker James Cameron, who threatened to cancel the remaining installments he had planned for the franchise if the film had underperformed. In the weeks leading up to Avatar: The Way of Water‘s theatrical release, industry insiders were all but positive the incredibly expensive film would be a massive flop, citing a lack of cultural relevance and the nearly 15-year stretch since the premiere of the first Avatar movie.
Of course, Avatar: The Way of Water proved incredibly profitable at both the box office and digital media and streaming, meaning Disney is likely to give Cameron the green light for anything and everything he desires in future installments. Thankfully, James Cameron has explained that he doesn’t expect additional installments to take nearly as long as The Way of Water, which utilized technology so new and advanced that the film could not have been made a decade earlier.
It took 15 years for Avatar: The Way Of Water to come out, but James Cameron promises three more films will be out in the next decade.
The current timeline for the following Avatar installments places the unnamed third film at a December 2025 release, with the fourth film expected to arrive in theaters in December of 2029. Though it is far too early to expect these numbers to be 100 percent accurate, James Cameron has shown through his filmmaking of The Way of Water that his cinematic vision should be trusted and held in high regard.