James Cameron Has The #1 Movie On Streaming Although He Hates It

James Cameron oddly bashed streaming services while his original Avatar movie is currently #1 Disney+ and in the top five on multiple streaming sites.

By Phillip Moyer | Published

james cameron streaming

With Avatar 2 dominating the box office internationally, curious movie-goers are heading to Disney+ to watch the original 2009 epic. This has launched Avatar to the worldwide top spot on Disney+ streaming, the #2 rental spot on Amazon, and the #4 spot on iTunes and Google. This would seem like good news for director James Cameron, except that he’s famously lashed out against streaming services, saying, “I’m tired of sitting on my a**.”

“We’re saying as a society, We need this! We need to go to theaters,” Cameron said. “Enough with the streaming already.”

James Cameron is more than happy that his latest movie has people heading to the theaters rather than watching movies on streaming services. According to Cameron, the experience of the cinema is one where you choose to immerse yourself in a film for a few hours, not letting any part of the outside world distract you. The same experience cannot be recreated when sitting on a couch in front of a TV.

“When we go to the movies we make a deal with ourselves to have undivided attention for a couple of hours,” Cameron said. “It’s about immersing yourself — choosing to commit to that ahead of time.”

james cameron avatar

According to James Cameron, the fact that even Chinese audiences are headed to theaters, despite the country having major issues with COVID-19, shows just how fed-up audiences are with streaming services. 

The success of Avatar 2 might be a little bit surprising given the current state of Theaters, but James Cameron’s films have a history of becoming massive hits at the box office — perhaps explaining his disdain for streaming. The original Avatar still has the top spot of top-grossing movies, and his 1997 film Titanic is still at #3. Avatar: The Way of Water currently sits at #7, and it has a good chance of climbing the ranks and ousting Spider-Man: No Way Home, Avengers: Infinity War, and possibly even Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens by the time it leaves theaters. 

While none of Cameron’s other films have even breached the list of the world’s 200 top-grossing movies, many of them were still dominant at the time they were released. Terminator 2: Judgment Day was the top-grossing film of 1991 and was the third-highest-grossing film of all time at the time of its release. His next-highest-grossing film, True Lies, was the third-highest-grossing film of 1994, coming behind The Lion King and Forrest Gump.

While James Cameron’s Terminator 2 is available for streaming on HBO Max, True Lies is currently not available for streaming on any service.

While there’s no doubt that James Cameron’s latest smash hit will find its way to streaming once it leaves theaters, the director is likely not focusing on that part of his deal with Disney. Instead, he has his eyes fixed on Avatar 3, which has already finished filming, and Avatar 4 began filming while he was already working on Avatar 3. Avatar 3 is set for release in 2024, and Avatar 4 will show up in theaters in 2026.

With the next four years of Cameron’s life already spoken for, it’s unlikely we’ll be hearing anything out of him that’s not related to the Avatar franchise in the future. But don’t expect James Cameron’s opinions on streaming to change even as his next films dominate the streaming charts — he’s already dominating them, and he still doesn’t care.