James Cameron Worries If ‘Avatar’ Sequels Will Make ‘a Lot of Money’ in Post-COVID Movie Theaters

Having spent hundreds of millions and years to make ‘Avatar 2’ and ‘Avatar 3’, the director admits that releasing the sequels is like ‘a big roll of the dice’ in the aftermath of the pandemic.

AceShowbiz -After “Avatar” became the highest-grossing movie of all time in 2009, it was a no-brainer that 20th Century Fox greenlit the sequels. However, a lot have changed since the production kick started in 2017, with the COVID-19 pandemic heavily affecting the movie business.

In a new interview, James Cameron reveals his fear if the “Avatar” sequels will live up to the expectations commercially, given the time and money they have given for the ambitious projects. “The big issue is: Are we going to make any damn money?” he tells Entertainment Weekly.

Realizing that releasing the sequels in post-COVID era doesn’t guarantee the same turnover as it did with the first movie, he adds, “Big, expensive films have got to make a lot of money. We’re in a new world post-COVID, post-streaming. Maybe those [box office] numbers will never be seen again. Who knows? It’s all a big roll of the dice.”

Having spent three years working on it with a reported $250 million budget, Cameron admits with a laugh, “It sounds kind of nuts, the process.” The 67-year-old further adds, “I mean, if ‘Avatar’ hadn’t made so much damn money, we’d never do this – because it’s kind of crazy.”

To describe the production as “nuts” may not be an overstatement. As it has been revealed, much of the performance-capture filming took place in a 900,000-gallon tank. “My colleagues within the production really lobbied heavily for us to do it ‘dry for wet,’ hanging people on wires,” Cameron notes. “I said, ‘It’s not going to work. It’s not going to look real.’ I even let them run a test, where we captured dry for wet, and then we captured in water, a crude level of our in-water capture. And it wasn’t even close.”

Both “Avatar 2” and “Avatar 3” are mostly set in and around the ocean, introducing a new clan of reef-dwelling Na’vi called the Metkayina. Producer Jon Landau describes the new tropical beaches and shores of Pandora as a seaside paradise or “Bora Bora on steroids,” as he calls it.

“Ultimately, the sequels are a story about family, and the lengths parents will go through to keep that family together and keep them safe,” he explains. “I always say that Jim’s movies have universal themes – and really, there’s no more universal theme than family.”

Along with the interview, Cameron shares new behind-the-scenes images from “Avatar 2” and “3”. One gives a new look at Edie Falco‘s character and another is concept art of the beach setting. There are also photos of the cast and crew working underwater.

“Avatar 2” is planned for a December 16, 2022 release.

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