‘Avatar 2’ must surpass the highest grossing in history just to recover its cost. It is more difficult than it looks

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With the film’s imminent release on December 16, James Cameron is proving with each new statement that ‘Avatar: The Sense of Water’ is more than just an extraordinarily expensive movie. That it is. But it’s also a shock to the industry and the public, a relatively unusual proposition in the form of a belated sequel to the highest-grossing film of all time…and one that has a considerable challenge ahead of it.

Expensive, very expensive. According to Cameron himself in an interview with GQ, we are facing “the worst business scenario in the history of cinema”. Or put another way: in order to recover its budget and cover losses, the film “has to be the third or fourth highest-grossing title in history.” Of course, this can be translated into numbers: ‘Star Wars – The Force Awakens’, the fourth film in the ranking, grossed 2,069 million dollars, so we already know the exact line between success and failure.

The budget of ‘Avatar 2’ is estimated at around 250 million dollars, similar to what ‘Endgame’ cost, although Cameron refuses to give exact figures on the cost of his film (unofficial sources speak of something less than 400 budget and double in promotion and distribution). Currently, the highest-grossing releases in history are ‘Avatar’ itself, with 2,922 million dollars in revenue, ‘Avengers: Endgame’ with 2,797 million and ‘titanic‘, with 2,201. Along with the aforementioned ‘The Awakening of the Force’ and ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ (2,048 million), they are the only films to exceed the barrier of 2,000 million.

I have reviewed 'Avatar' for the first time since I saw it in the cinema and I think that these 13 years have done it wonderfully

But of course, there are doubts. There is some expectation around this monumental digital castle that James Cameron has built. It is clear that ‘Avatar 2’ is going to be one of the biggest hits of the season, and a fierce contender for the highest grossing movie of the year award, but it is a sequel highly dependent on the previous one, and it is not generating the apparent enthusiasm in networks that Marvel or Star Wars movies do bring with them. There are those who have doubts, in fact, about the “cultural footprint” left by the first ‘Avatar’.

Little impact. That cultural footprint can be measured in a number of ways, all of which are not very definitive, but certainly give a rough impression of how you may struggle to reach that $2 billion. Forbes commented on it five years after the release of the original film: children do not play with ‘Avatar’ dolls, they do not wear merchandising from the film, there was no avalanche of copies and imitations as has happened with superhero movies (and perhaps the most obvious , ‘John Carter’, was a box office disaster)… his legacy has been more technical than culturaland that’s not good news for a sequel.

A couple of examples. There are a couple of aspects in which it can be said that there are figures that give it away. On the one hand, the number of memes that the film has generated. According to Know Your Meme, barely generated about thirty viral images and a couple of memes. The most popular, Fake Avatar Lines, in which people made up bogus quotes from “the highest-grossing movie that nobody cares about,” ridiculed its shallowness in the collective memory. Let’s compare it with the 33 videos, 246 images and 43 memes awarded to ‘Avengers: Endgame’.

'Avatar 2', everything we know about the sequels of James Cameron

The other is the number of fanfictions it has generated, something a Twitter user drew attention to some time ago. Fanfiction is a good way to take the pulse of the fandom, and in September, this tweeter I had only found 325 works inspired by Avatara ridiculous example next to the 33,646 that JJ Abrams’ version of ‘Star Trek’ has generated (it is not even necessary to resort to the classic series or movies).

In China yes. At least what James Cameron can count on is that, finally yes it will be released in china. It will also be on December 16, and it will be in a market that is increasingly relevant to Hollywood. Bob Iger himself, the brand new CEO of Disney, has had to intervene personally to achieve this premiere, and it is estimated that the film could increase its collection by 200 million dollars thanks to the Asian giant. And he’s going to need to treasure each one of them.

With the film’s imminent release on December 16, James Cameron is proving with each new statement that ‘Avatar: The Sense…

With the film’s imminent release on December 16, James Cameron is proving with each new statement that ‘Avatar: The Sense…

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