When Does Avatar 2 Come to Disney Plus?

Unfortunately, Pandora won't feel the same on streaming.

by Abhirup Sengupta
Image: 20th Century Studios

Within two months of release, Avatar The Way Of Water has grossed around $2.18 Billion. This enabled James Cameron’s highly anticipated hit to become the fourth highest-grossing film at the box office. Interestingly, the only films which are higher on the list include the first Avatar film, along with Avengers Endgame and Cameron’s Titanic.

While the success of Avatar 2 has been immense, theaters around the world have slowly begun to phase out the film to make way for newer releases. Though this usually hints at an imminent digital release date, it may be much later for this sequel. Interestingly, 2009’s Avatar had originally been in theaters for around 240 days. Following this, the film was re-released with a 48 FPS Remaster.

Though Disney may decide to extend the theatrical run as they did with Avengers Endgame, the streaming release of Avatar 2 on Disney Plus is likely months away.

Avatar 2 – Digital Release, Disney Plus Streaming Possible Timeline

Though no official streaming release date has been announced by Disney for Avatar The Way Of Water, a prediction can easily be made by analyzing the release date of previous hits from the studios. While there were rumors about an early February digital release date for the uber-successful film, that is simply not the case. Rather the film is expected to hit digital platforms, including Disney Plus, in either Spring 2023 or by Summer 2023.

Avatar 2 – Digital Release Prediction

As per The Walt Disney Studios’ recent blockbuster films’ digital releases, certain successful films like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness had digital releases within 50 days of their theatrical release. However, Disney/Marvel’s Thor Love And Thunder took 64 days to simultaneously release digitally and on Disney Plus streaming service. Interestingly, Disney’s next Marvel film, Black Panther Wakanda Forever, took over 80 days to reach Disney Plus.

The aforementioned digital release dates of Disney’s recent films likely coincides with theatrical releases in China. This gives a possible explanation as to why Black Panther Wakanda Forever took so long for its digital release. Being the only recent Marvel film not to be blocked by China, Wakanda Forever hit Disney Plus a week before its theatrical release in the country. This was possibly done to somewhat prevent piracy’s effect on the Chinese box office collection of the film. Therefore, the theatrical to digital release window also relies on how quickly a film reaches its peak box office collection without a re-release.

Given the aforementioned trends, Avatar The Way Of Water will likely follow a similar digital release timeline as that of Avengers Endgame. Following a re-release, Endgame was digitally released after 95 days. However, Avatar The Way Of Water is expected to release on digital platforms simultaneously and exclusively stream on Disney Plus on the same date, as established by Disney’s recent release habits. Now since Avatar 2 was released in China on the same day it hit other countries, the studio will possibly not take long to have its digital release.

Barring a re-release, Avatar 2 is not far from the end of its theatrical run. Thus, if Disney follows Avengers Endgame’s release timeline, Cameron’s latest hit is expected to drop on Disney Plus around Mid-March. While the exact release date is impossible to predict, The Way Of Water may hit the streaming service after an 85 to 90-day theatrical window, i.e., between March 10 to March 16, 2023.

While Avatar The Way Of Water has been able to recreate a similar level of box office success like its predecessor, it is still far from toppling 2009’s Avatar. Now, it remains to be seen if Disney will delay the digital release and re-release the film in theaters. However, the studio may not be keen to delay the film’s exclusive streaming release on Disney Plus, given the recent subscriber loss of the platform.

- This article was updated on February 11th, 2023