What Happens if Avatar: The Way of Water Bombs?

What is considered a box office bomb for James Cameron?

by J.R. Waugh

Avatar: The Way of Water has a tough task ahead of itself. Despite the film looking like a gorgeous audio-visual experience, bursting with life and color along with great new and old characters, it is a sequel to the highest-grossing film of all time. Expectations are high for this movie, and after taking 13 years of production and numerous setbacks, fans of the franchise and general moviegoers wanting to see a big franchise succeed that’s not Marvel or Star Wars are wondering if it’s possible. But the biggest question on most people’s minds is, what if The Way of Water bombs at the box office, and what’s considered a flop for it?

What Happens if Avatar: The Way of Water Bombs?

Weighing in at a budget of around $350-400 million, Avatar: The Way of Water needs to make $2 billion in worldwide box office sales to not bomb and be considered a good return on investment. This means that due to additional costs of marketing, the movie would have to achieve similar numbers to Titanic, Avengers: Endgame or 2009’s Avatar to break even and be considered not to lose money. Considering 2 of those 3 movies were James Cameron films, it’s not out of the realm of possibility, but it’s still a tall order to simply expect it to happen.

Why Else Does Avatar 2 Need to Make over $2 Billion?

Aside from justifying the expensive technology and techniques used to make this film possible, the box office success of The Way of Water will determine whether Cameron’s 5-film series plan will happen at all. If Avatar 2 doesn’t succeed in breaking even for 20th Century Studios and parent company Disney, Cameron will still get to make Avatar 3 but nothing beyond that. But if it’s anything like the first film, things could work out very well for Cameron, who has been quite the hitmaker for Hollywood for decades.

Trailer: 20th Century Studios

Avatar: The Way of Water will release worldwide exclusively in theaters on December 16, 2022.

- This article was updated on November 28th, 2022

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