Will Avatar 2 Be A Success 13 Years After The First? "I Guess We're Going To Find Out," Director Says
Avatar 2 could have flopped if it came out after two years, Cameron admits.
James Cameron's Avatar is the highest-grossing movie in history, but the 2009 film didn't get a sequel right away. In fact, the sequel, The Way of Water, is only hitting theaters this year, some 13 years after the original. So does Cameron think the huge gap will be a problem? Speaking to The New York Times, Cameron said he initially had concerns that audiences might not care as much after so many years, but the first teaser trailer had nearly 150 million views in its first day. Despite that fast success with the trailer, Cameron said he's not sure The Way of Water will find a big audience again.
"I was a little concerned that I had stretched the tether too far, in our fast-paced, modern world, with Avatar 2 coming in 12 years later. Right until we dropped the teaser trailer, and we got 148 million views in 24 hours," he said. "There's that scarce-seen-but-wondered-at-principle, which is, 'Wow, we haven't seen that in a long time, but I remember how cool it was back then.' Does that play in our favor? I don't know. I guess we're going to find out."
Cameron was responding a question about whether or not audiences would relate to the characters and direction of The Way of Water given it's been more than a decade since the first movie. He isn't sure on way or another, and he added that the Avatar sequel could theoretically bomb if it was released two years after the first one. Nothing is certain in Hollywood, after all.
"I think I could have made a sequel two years later and have it bomb because people didn't relate to the characters or the direction of the film," he said
Cameron has experience making sequels that came out long after the original. His 1986 Alien sequel, Aliens, was released seven years after Ridley Scott's Alien. There was also a seven-year gap between Cameron's Terminator and Terminator 2. Both films performed better at the box office than their first installments.
Avatar is the highest-grossing movie ever made, bringing in $2.847 billion at the box office. Cameron has another high-ranking film, Titanic ($2.2 billion; third all time, not adjusted for inflation), making him one of the most commercially successful directors in the history of cinema.
Avatar is set to return to theaters this Friday, September 23 via an updated and remastered version, so its box office grosses stand to only climb higher ahead of The Way of Water's release in December.
The Way of Water brings back Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Joel David Moore, and Giovanni Ribisi. Sigourney Weaver is also coming back, but in a new role, considering her character in the original Avatar died. Avatar 3 was filmed back-to-back with The Way of Water, and stories are written for Avatar 4 and 5, but whether or not they get made will depend on how well The Way of Water performs.
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