James Cameron Gets Real About The Possibility Of Avatar: The Way Of Water Flopping At The Box Office

Jake teaching his kid to use a bow and arrow in Avatar 2
(Image credit: Disney)

James Cameron is a filmmaker known for groundbreaking visuals, as well as the ability to make an insane amount of money at the box office. Both Titanic and Avatar have been named the highest grossing movie of all time, and moviegoing audiences will be able to dive back into the latter property when the sequel The Way of Water arrives in theaters this December. And Cameron recently got honest about the possiiblity of Avatar 2 flopping at the box office.

The original Avatar movie arrived in theaters back in 2009, so fans have been waiting over a decade to return to the story of Pandora and the Na’vi. While the first sci-fi movie was a massive hit that brought 3-D back to theaters, has this excitement diminished after waiting so long for The Way of Water? James Cameron spoke to Total Film (via /Film) about this concept, saying:

The market could be telling us we're done in three months, or we might be semi-done, meaning: 'Okay, let's complete the story within movie three, and not go on endlessly,' if it's just not profitable ... We're in a different world now than we were when I wrote this stuff, even. It's the one-two punch — the pandemic and streaming. Or, conversely, maybe we'll remind people what going to the theater is all about. This film definitely does that. The question is: how many people give a shit now?

There you have it. It sounds like James Cameron is considering all of his options when it comes to how Avatar 2 will be received by audiences this Holiday Season. That includes the idea that the sequel won’t be as successful as its predecessor, and any complications that might occur for his planned five-film story. Of course, he’s hoping that more folks return to theaters for the first time since the pandemic to see his blockbuster in all of its CGI glory.

James Cameron’s comments offer a peek behind the curtain regarding how the acclaimed filmmaker is approaching Avatar: The Way of Water’s long-awaited release in theaters. While he’s obviously hoping it’s another huge hit at the box office, he also seems to be entertaining all of the other possibilities. Including folks not really giving a “shit”. We’ll just have to see how it all shakes out.

While the wait for Avatar 2 might have diminished anticipation for its release for some moviegoers, the world of the franchise hasn’t been completely out of the pop culture landscape. Disney theme parks have built epic new lands that have brought fans to Pandora, which included some of the most thrilling new attractions to arrive in years. It remins to be seen if those immersive experiences have helped to buoy excitement for The Way of Water. As a reminder, you can check out the movie’s trailer below:

Luckily for fans and James Cameron himself, our questions about Avatar 2 and its performance will be answered shortly. The movie is the biggest release coming to theaters this Christmas, which is already a massive popular time for folks to head to the movies. And there’s no big blockbuster competition, as Shazam’s sequel ended up changing its release date from December 2022 to March of 2023.

Avatar: The Way of Water hits theaters December 16th. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.