Avatar 2 isn’t just magnanimous with its runtime, but with the potential of success that this film carries, studios were happy to spend an insanely high budget on this one. In 2017, back when 20th Century Fox had control over the four upcoming Avatar sequels, Deadline reported that a total of $1 billion dollars was being spent on the production of four films. Then even in 2020, the same numbers were reported again. So, that led to the presumption of Avatar: The Way of Water having a production budget of $250 million. But apparently, the newly reported numbers are much higher!
The Budget of Avatar 2
According to a recent report from The Hollywood Reporter, Avatar: The Way of Water was produced for a whopping budget that stands somewhere between $350 million to $400 million. 2009’s Avatar was produced for $237 million and it was still reaping rewards until this year (Box Office total – $2.922 billion). So, you’d understand why studios would be okay to spend even more on the sequels.
Disney’s acquisition of Fox probably provided Cameron and co with the extra cash influx (beyond the original $250 million) that was needed in the production and the post-production stages of Avatar 2. And such a high budget makes this film join the list of the most expensive Disney movies to this date. Avengers: Age of Ultron’s reported budget is $365 million, Avengers: Infinity War’s budget is between $325 million to $400 million, and Avengers: Endgame’s budget is between $356 million to $400 million.
Then there’s the budget of 2011’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which was $379 million. If you’ll adjust that to inflation, then Pirates 4 would stand as the most expensive movie made to this date. So, Avatar: The Way of Water stands along the lines of all these pricy Disney movies.
Will Avatar 2 be a Success??
As of now, Avatar: The Way of Water’s opening projections at the domestic box office are lower than Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s $187 million opening. They range somewhere between $150 million to $175 million. That’s not bad at all. The first Avatar movie only opened with $77 million domestically. But it kept on making money for several months down the line. So, you could expect Avatar 2’s numbers to stay strong in the coming weeks if the film is as good as James Cameron thinks. And that’s also a possibility because it faces little to no competition in the holiday period.
But the condition of the theatres isn’t the same as it was for Avatar 1 because movies don’t stay in theatres for as long as the first one did. Secondly, the existence of Disney+ could also prohibit earnings later on. So, we shouldn’t expect Avatar 2 to produce numbers like Avengers: Endgame or the first Avatar movie. For that, the film would have to be really powerful, and the opening numbers would have to be somewhere between $250 million to $350 million at the domestic box office itself. But, if the movie is really good, then we could surely expect Avatar: The Way of Water to make somewhere between $1.5 billion to $2 billion worldwide. It is also going to open in China, so the chances of its success are greater. And that’s all Disney could ask for at this moment.
Avatar: The Way of Water arrives on December 16.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter