The day has finally come when you can quit wondering whether or not you'll actually see Avatar 2 happen. James Cameron, after years of false starts and promises, has finally started filming his Avatar sequels. All four of them, which are going to shoot consecutively and be released over the course of the next eight years. So how much is this grand production going to cost? More than $1 billion.
As reported by Deadline, James Cameron is making history with this production by becoming the first director to ever shoot four blockbuster-budget movies consecutively. Peter Jackson famously shot all three Lord of the Rings movies at the same time, with extensive reshoots in between, but these Avatar sequels are even larger in scope. And as such, they come with a very hefty price tag attached. Deadline couldn't provide an exact figure, and there probably isn't one to be had, but they do say that the movies have a "collective budget expected to surpass $1 billion."
Fox produced the first Avatar and is on the hook for Avatar 2, Avatar 3, Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 (none of which are official titles at this point). The financing situation is probably quite complex, but ultimately, someone has to put that money up and hope that these movies can do even a fraction of what the first movie was able to. Considering that they are also going to have to spend a ton of money to market all four of these sequels, and reshoots will almost certainly be necessary, this is quite the risky investment. To some degree. But James Cameron is one of the most bankable directors to ever make a movie, so if anyone can pull it off, it's him.
The other thing to consider is that it has been a long time since the first Avatar was released. Will audiences still care? The answer again comes back to James Cameron. He has directed two of the most beloved and financially successful sequels ever made with Aliens and Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Both of those took place years after the original movies were released and both did very well at the box office. Assuming Cameron can deliver a quality movie with Avatar 2, people will show up.
Even if it does cost $1 billion to get these movies made, it doesn't matter. The original Avatar remains the highest-grossing movie of all time, with $2.78 billion worldwide. If all four of the sequels make just a third of what the first one made, Fox will probably be very happy. The Avatar sequels are currently set for release on December 18, 2020, December 17, 2021, December 20, 2024, and December 19, 2025. We will be sure to keep you up to date on the status of the movies as the Avatar sequels make their way through production.