Sorry Avatar aficionados, you will have to drop your weekly visits to Pandora for now, because the first Avatar movie (from 2009) has been removed from Disney Plus ahead of its theatrical re-release. Avatar will be released in theatres in September, to sufficiently prepare us all for Avatar: The Way of Water to come out in December. It will also help secure its position at the top of the all-time global box office charts too, of course.
In the thirteen years since the release of James Cameron’s Avatar, only one movie has come close to threatening its top spot on the box office rankings and that is Marvel‘s Avengers: Endgame. Endgame briefly overtook it at one stage, but then a sneaky Chinese re-release for Avatar reclaimed its title. And may we remind you that Cameron’s Titanic is still sitting at number three after 25 years.
You’d have thought that any movie that made nearly three billion dollars would have had a sequel made within a year or two, but Cameron is not a man to be rushed. Although the sequels have been planned for some time, he spent years perfecting technology that allowed motion-capture underwater. And then there’s been further delays due to the pandemic, of course.
The re-release of Avatar on September 23 will be a remastered edition, with improved picture and audio quality. There appears to have been no warning that Avatar was being removed from Disney Plus, but the decision is hardly surprising, given that they will want as many people in theatres as possible.
Cameron has been heavily pushing the theatrical experience, in IMAX and yes – 3D – for Avatar: The Way of Water and insists that it cannot come close to being replicated at home, which is probably fair. The new technology that he’s spent years developing needs to be seen on the biggest screen possible, by the sounds of it.
While we wait for the Avatar sequel, check out our guide to the best alien movies.