Disney Is Trying Something Different With Avatar: The Way Of Water’s Home Release

Jake rides a winged creature over the ocean in Avatar: The Way of Water.
(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Last December, 13 years after the original Avatar took the world by storm, the long-awaited Avatar: The Way of Water arrived in theaters, reuniting moviegoers with Sam Worthington’s Jake Sully and Zoe Saldaña’s Neytiri. Like its predecessor, not only has The Way of Water earned a lot of positive critical reception, it’s also been a box office powerhouse, ranking as the third highest-grossing movie of all time with its $2.282 million haul. But The Way of Water’s theatrical run is just about over, so for those of you who’ve been waiting to view it at home, be it for the first time or as a re-watch, Disney has announced it's trying something different with this home media release.

In the last several years, it’s become common for Disney to release its movies in digital format on the same day they’re made available exclusively for Disney+ subscribers. Not so for Avatar: The Way of Water. In this instance, the Disney Plus price won't cut it. The Mouse House will instead first release the sequel solely on digital platforms like Prime Video, Apple TV, Vudu and Movies Anywhere on March 28. Along with The Way of Water being available to view in 4K HD quality with Dolby Atmos audio, the home media release will be accompanied by three hours of never-before-seen bonus features. There’s no word yet on when The Way of Water will be released on Disney+ or in physical formats.

This digital release news comes just days before Avatar: The Way of Water will be recognized as one of the many 2023 Oscar nominees. It will compete in four categories at the 95th Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Sound, Best Production Design and Best Visual Effects. Whether The Way of Water walks away with any of these golden trophies or not, there’s no questioning how successful the movie has been, and it won’t be too much longer until it can be enjoyed within a home theater setting. Disney also released a special digital release trailer for The Way of Water called “Return to Pandora.”

Of course, let’s not forget the Avatar cinematic saga is far from over, and we won’t have to wait nearly as long for the next installments as we did for The Way of Water. Although it’d be nice if Avatar 3 came out at the end of this year, it remains slated for a December 2024 release, and though specific plot details remain secret, the threequel will introduce the Na’vi faction known as the Ash People, who dwell in a volcano. Avatar 4 and 5 will respectively follow in December 2026 and December 2028, and James Cameron has even thought about Avatar 6 and 7, although should those particular features move forward, he would pass the directing reins to someone else. 

As we count down the remaining weeks for the second Avatar movie to be digitally released, those of you who’ve already seen it should read our The Way of Water ending breakdown. On the non-spoiler-y front, our 2023 movie release schedule is available for you to figure out what you’ll be watching later this year either in theaters or on streaming.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.