‘Avatar: The Way Of Water’ reveals “very fucking expensive” budget

"The worst business case in movie history"

James Cameron has described the production cost of Avatar: The Way Of Water as “very fucking expensive”.

In a recent interview with GQ, the director said that the sequel to his 2009 blockbuster – the most successful film of all time – cost so much to make that he told the studio it represented “the worst business case in movie history”.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the budget for The Way Of Water sits somewhere between $350m (£292.4m) and $400m (£334m), easily making it one of the most expensive films of all time, alongside Avengers: Endgame and Age Of Ultron.

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Cameron has claimed that, in order for the sequel to simply break even, it would have to become “the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history”.

“That’s your threshold,” he said. “That’s your break even.”

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‘Avatar: The Way Of Water’. CREDIT: 20th Century Studios

As it stands, the third and fourth highest-grossing films of all time are Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Avengers: Infinity War, which took in $2.05bn (£1.72bn) and $2.04bn (£1.7bn), respectively.

The first Avatar film currently sits as the highest-grossing film of all time with a haul of $2.9bn (£2.4bn). Avengers: Endgame is second with $2.79bn (£2.45bn), while Titanic (also directed by Cameron) comes in at third with $2.2bn (£2.19bn).

Cameron previously suggested that he could end the Avatar franchise early if the upcoming sequel doesn’t perform well at the box office. The director had originally planned to make five movies in total.

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“The market could be telling us we’re done in three months, or we might be semi-done, meaning: ‘OK, let’s complete the story within movie three, and not go on endlessly,’ if it’s just not profitable,” the filmmaker told Total Film.

“We’re in a different world now than we were when I wrote this stuff, even,” he added. “It’s the one-two punch – the pandemic and streaming. Or, conversely, maybe we’ll remind people what going to the theatre is all about.

“This film definitely does that. The question is: how many people give a shit now?”

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