Avatar 2’s Budget Is Officially Announced
It’s no secret that the Avatar franchise is a pretty expensive one. After all, the original film, which came out in 2009, had a budget of $237 million, and it later became the highest-grossing film at the time. So, it’s no surprise that the sequel, titled Avatar: The Way of Water, is equally expensive. Initially, writer and director James Cameron stated that the sequel was “very f**king expensive” but didn’t share details on exactly how expensive it was. However, a recent report revealed just how pricey Avatar 2’s budget was!
Similar to the original film, this movie has been in the works for a while. Originally, Cameron aimed to release the movie shortly after the original, with a planned release date of 2014 or 2015. However, for unknown reasons, 20th Century Studios pushed it back to 2016. Again, the studio delayed it to 2017 after Cameron claimed writing the movie was a “complex job.” It met further delays until 2020 when COVID forced all movie production to halt. Finally, 20th Century Studios gave it a definite release date of December 6th, 2022, in the UK and December 16th, in the USA.
But why was it delayed so many times? According to this new report, Avatar 2’s budget was one of the major factors for its delay. Originally, some sources stated that it cost around $250 million, with each further sequel costing around the same amount. As such, the four sequel movies have a total budget of around $1 billion. However, The Hollywood Reporter claims these figures are false, with the real budget being much higher than this.
Avatar 2’s Budget
Image: 20th Century Studios/Disney
In this revelation, The Hollywood Reporter claims that Avatar 2’s budget is between $350 million and $400 million. If this is true, this will make the film one of the most expensive movies created in history. It certainly makes the original’s $237 million budget look quite small! Currently, the most expensive movie is Pirates of the Caribbean: Stranger Tides, which has an inflation-adjusted budget of $456 million. At the time, it cost $379 million to make, meaning that Avatar: The Way of Water is a worthy competitor.
However, the stakes are now on for the film to outperform the original movie, especially with Avatar 2’s budget being so high. At the moment, the original film has made over $2.9 billion at the box office, easily covering its costs. Hopefully, The Way of Water can do the same! Of course, it does seem like the film will do this. This is especially true since the studio has secured the movie’s release in China, unlike many other post-pandemic films which haven’t appeared in this market.
A Chinese release is unsurprising, as the original film made over $260 million in this territory alone. This came after the studio re-released the film several times, and it became one of the highest-grossing foreign films in China. If that wasn’t enough, 20th Century Studios is also releasing the film in IMAX theaters there too!
Additionally, this new report about Avatar 2’s budget states that a Chinese release was planned for a while. But, Disney chose not to announce it until Bob Iger returned as CEO.
Avatar The Way of Water Movie
Image: 20th Century Studios/Disney
Of course, now we know the truth about the movie, it makes sense why Cameron called it “very f**king expensive.” Avatar 2’s budget is certainly not something to be sniffed at! Naturally, the pressure is now on for the movie to surpass the original and make more than its original budget.
According to Cameron, The Way of Water must “be the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history” for it to be successful. As such, releasing it in China will certainly improve the likelihood of this happening. In other predictions, it’s estimated that the film will make $150 million to $170 million from its opening weekend alone. Hopefully, this success will continue so the sequels can also go ahead.
You can catch Avatar: The Way of Water in US cinemas from December 16th, with the UK getting it ten days earlier on December 6th.
Hi! I'm Arvyn, and I'm an English teacher from the UK. I've been teaching English online for over 4 years to students from all across the world and all ages. Outside of work, I'm a huge fan of reading, video games, and playing with my adorable kitties. See ya!