As far as film successes go, there are few directors quite as prolific as James Cameron. Cameron is known for the massive scale of his movies, and their ability to break box office records and become pop culture phenomenons. He proved this with the insane success of Titanic, although even those numbers were surpassed when Avatar hit theaters in 2009. But that sci-fi epic was recently dethroned as the most profitable movie of all time, losing that honor to Avengers: Endgame. And surprisingly, Cameron is happy about this turn of events.
It may have taken all the Marvel fans and a quick re-release, but Avengers: Endgame was eventually able to take the #1 spot regarding box office returns, narrowly beating out Avatar in the process. But rather than being salty about losing the title, James Cameron is actually excited about what that might mean for Avatar's long-awaited sequels. As he put it:
It gives me a lot of hope. Avengers: Endgame is demonstrable proof that people will still go to movie theaters. The thing that scared me most about making Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 was that the market might have shifted so much that it simply was no longer possible to get people that excited about going and sitting in a dark room with a bunch of strangers to watch something.
Well, the man has a point. It's been over a decade since the first Avatar movie hit theaters, with the sequels being pushed back multiple times throughout the years. And while Endgame dethroned the original, James Cameron is hopeful that moviegoers will bring the same level of excitement when Avatar 2 and 3 finally arrive.
James Cameron's comments to Deadline give us a glimpse into the prolific filmmaker's mind, and how he's approaching his long gestating Avatar sequels. Cameron has consistently pushed back production on the follow-up movies, as the years flew by. I've personally been wondering if audiences are still invested in the franchise, and if they're willing to shell out the money to make Avatar's sequels as successful as the original. That's something the filmmaker has thought about, but he's also been inspired by the success of other movies.
It's been a decade since Avatar debuted in theaters, and the landscape of moviegoing has certainly shifted over that sum of time. Namely, the inception of cinematic universes has come, and changed how studios approach franchises. Avatar has the potential to create its own universe with its sequels, depending on how serialized James Cameron crafts the story. And with plenty of marketing to get moviegoers excited again.
One thing the Avatar franchise has going for it is the wildly successful ride a Disney's theme parks. That has kept interest in the franchise, along with James Cameron's stellar reputation as a filmmaker. Now let's hope no more delays come to the Avatar franchise, and the return to Pandora can finally occur.
Avatar 2 is currently set to hit theaters on December 17, 2021. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.