Avatar 2 May Lead A Renewed 3D Theatrical Push

Avatar: The Way of Water is expected to be in theaters on December 16, 2022.

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Avatar 2 may singlehandedly revive an interest among moviegoers for 3D theatrical experiences, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Response to the long-awaited sequel was astronomical, whose first trailer was released earlier this month and within 24 hours hit nearly 150 million views.

The upcoming blockbuster sequel, whose full name is Avatar 2: The Way of Water, is due in theaters on December 16, 2022. The movie will be massive for many reasons, but the confluence of a wait since 2009 for a proper sequel and that the franchise's first movie being the first time people wore 3D glasses, means many in the industry are imagining both a resurgence of the 3D format--and also, hopefully, a bigger return for audiences to theaters overall.

Avatar 2's trailer first premiered before showings of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness before making its way online, and The Hollywood Reporter says nearly 10 percent of moviegoers in North America opted to pay 20 to 30 percent more for a 3D ticket, "an unheard-of jump for a format that many had written off even before the COVID-19 crisis."

"At a time when people are used to being at home watching content, anything that encourages them to go to theaters has to be a positive for us and the industry in general," says Disney's chief of global film distribution Tony Chambers. "It’s all about the experience. If done right, people will come out again and again. The messaging won't be to see Avatar 2 in 3D but to see it for the experience."

Adds Jon Landau, Avatar writer-director James Cameron's producing partner, "We believe 3D creates a more immersive experience in our narrative storytelling. We don't play 3D as a world coming out of a window. We play it as a window into the world… We are giving people something that they cannot get anywhere else."

Avatar: The Way of Water is expected to be in theaters on December 16, 2022.

Avatar, which came out in 2009, will be re-released to theaters on September 23.

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