When it comes to bringing ambitious action movies like Avatar 2 onto the big-screen, there’s always been the sense that it involves a little bit of a gamble. 13 years ago, Avatar made $2.9 billion in the global box office: far exceeding its $237 million budget and breaking a few box office records in the process.
But as the sequel to the animated movie looks set to take the visual spectacle to new heights, director James Cameron revealed in an interview with GQ that The Way of the Water has to make an exceptional amount of money at the box office just to account for its elaborate budget.
Cameron didn’t give a straight answer when asked by the outlet what the budget for the science fiction movie was, but he did note that it was “very fucking [expensive].”
He added that the film represents the “worst business case in movie history,” and said that in order for Avatar 2 to be profitable, “you have to be the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history. That’s your threshold. That’s your break even.”
At present, the third and fourth highest-grossing movies are Cameron’s 1998 drama movie Titanic and Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens. In the global box office, these films grossed $2.1 billion and $2.07 billion respectively.
So, if we’re reading into this right, Avatar 2 has to make just over $2 billion at the box office just to breakeven, which suggests that its budget lingers around the $2 billion mark: making it a lot more expensive than the last Avatar movie. Maybe that answers the question: ‘Why did Avatar 2 take so long?’ Either way, for Cameron’s sake, we hope it breaks even too. No pressure, man.