Avatar Is Returning To Theaters To Remind You What Happened Before Avatar 2 Comes Out

Sam Worthington and Sigourney Weaver delivering a warning in their Na'vi forms in Avatar.
(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

This December we will finally get the first sequel to the most successful movie of all-time. Avatar is the global box office champion, so the bar is set pretty high for Avatar: The Way of Water. However, in case you’ve basically forgotten what happened in the first one, Disney has you covered, as Avatar is set to return to theaters in September with a new 4K HDR remaster.

Beginning September 23, Avatar will be back in theaters and the studio is promoting what it calls a stunning 4K High Dynamic Range print of the film. The re-release trailer is focused almost entirely on how the movie looks, which to be fair, is a big part of how the movie was sold the first time around. 3D was a big part of Avatar’s sell to viewers the first time around, and now it will be a gorgeous resolution. 

Avatar was previously available on Disney+ in 4K HDR, but the movie was mysteriously removed from the service a few days ago. That means that the theatrical re-release will be the only way to see the movie for at least a while. Once the movie has finished its new theatrical run, it will likely return to Disney+. Still, the new 4K presentation will look even better on the big screen, no matter how big your TV is.

It’s something of a joke that while Avatar may be the highest grossing movie of all-time, it’s a film that hasn’t stuck with fans, many people don’t really remember it at all. It’s somewhat difficult to gauge how true this idea is, but it’s entirely possible that this re-release exists in part to deal with exactly this potential problem. 

If people really have forgotten Avatar, if they haven’t seen the movie in a long time, they may decide to skip going to see the sequel in December when it comes out due to a fear that they won’t understand what’s going on. By seeing the original movie again about three months before the sequel comes out it will be fresh in their minds again so that won’t be a hurdle to the sequels box office success.

Avatar re-release poster

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

And of course, box office success is also a big reason to re-release the original Avatar. The film was briefly only the number two highest grossing movie worldwide, behind Avengers: Endgame, until a post-pandemic re-release in China put Avatar on top again. Avatar was also the number one domestic movie until 2015 when Star Wars: The Force Awakens overcame it. It’s now number four on the domestic list, but the re-release may help get it back on top, or at least get it closer to it. 

So if you don’t really remember what happened in the first Avatar, or if you do, but you just want to see it on the big screen again, the chance is almost here. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.