“Avatar: The Way of Water” costs how much? Early estimates put the production budget alone in the $250 million level, but James Cameron, the filmmaker, isn’t ready to commit to a precise figure just yet. When GQ magazine questioned Cameron about the sequel’s budget, his sole response was, “Very fucking [expensive],”
According to reports, Cameron warned executives from Disney and 20th Century Studios that his sequel’s budget was so expensive that it was “the worst business case in movie history.” In the director’s estimation, the third or fourth highest-grossing movie in history must be you. Your threshold is that. Your break even is there.
With $2.9 billion worldwide box office receipts, James Cameron’s original 2009 “Avatar” tops the list of highest-grossing films (adjusted for inflation). “Avengers: Endgame” by Disney is in second place with $2.7 million, while “Titanic” by Cameron is still in third place with $2.1 billion. According to Cameron, this means that for “Avatar: The Way of Water” to make a profit, it must surpass either “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ($2.07 billion) or “Avengers: Infinity War” ($2.05 billion), which are now ranked fourth and fifth, respectively.
Unadjusted for inflation, only five films surpassed the $2 billion mark globally. There is still hope for “The Way of Water” despite how the pandemic has hampered moviegoing; movies like “Spider-Man: No Way Home” ($1.9 billion) and “Top Gun: Maverick” ($1.4 billion) have made enormous earnings.
Unadjusted for inflation, the first “Avatar” earned $785 million domestically and currently ranks fourth on the all-time U.S. box office chart. “Top Gun: Maverick” comes in at number five with $716 million domestically.
On December 16, “Avatar: The Way of Water” debuts in theaters.