The first Avatar holds the rare distinction of being the highest-grossing film of all time, and while its sequel is unlikely to reach those heights, it is still expected to do extremely well at the box office.
According to early tracking data from Variety, Avatar: The Way of Water is expected to open to at least $150 million domestically when it opens next month. Their report notes that this number could also rise even higher, to upwards of $175 million. While these figures are significantly higher than Avatar‘s original box office debut (which landed around $77 million), the hype and expectations of The Way of the Water is significantly higher.
Due to the much higher budget of the sequel film — it is estimated that the budget to The Way of the Water is somewhere between $350 million and $400 million – the box office returns will have to be bigger to make its money back. According to James Cameron in an interview with GQthe sequel needs to be one of the highest-grossing films of all time, just to “break even,” a goal that may be extremely lofty, but has been done by Cameron before.
The sequel is directed and co-written by James Cameron. It features the return of Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Joel David Moore, Dileep Rao, Stephen Lang, Matt Gerald and Sigourney Weaver. Additional cast includes Kate Winslet, Edie Falco, Michelle Yeoh, Vin Diesel, Jemaine Clement and Oona Chaplin along with a board of young actors.
“Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, Avatar: The Way of Water begins to tell the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri and their children), the troubles that follow them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the struggles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies that they are subjected to.” says the official synopsis.
Three more films are planned, with Avatar 3 tentatively scheduled for 20 December 2024, Avatar 4 fixed for 18 December 2026, and Avatar 5 on 22 December 2028.