Ever since Titanic, filmmaker James Cameron has established himself as the king of the box office. Then Cameron made Avatar to further bolster his claim to the throne. It took the MCU more than a decade to dethrone Avatar with Avengers: Endgame, only to be dethroned in turn by Avatar this year yet again through a re-release in Chinese theaters. One person who is less invested in this box office rivalry is Cameron himself, who recently told Jimmy Fallon that he hopes to see more Marvel movies break past box office records in theaters.

"Everybody makes a big deal out of [the box office battle], but the truth is what we really need to focus on is getting back to theaters. Hopefully we can still have movies like that, Endgame and Avatar and the big Marvel movies and all that, movies that are able to make $1 billion or $2 billion. Let's pray that movie theaters are still there after this pandemic and after this shift towards streaming, not that I have anything against streaming. There's great writing and great shows in [streaming], but let's remember that movie theaters are a sacred experience for all of us. Let's get back out there when it's safe to do so."
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It seems Cameron believes that the MCU helping bring theaters back on their feet is in the best interests of all filmmakers. And there is a great deal of truth to that perspective. After all, it takes Cameron almost a decade to make one movie. That is not something cinemas can depend on to bring in the money on a regular basis. On the other hand, the MCU release multiple movies every year, many of which make more than a billion dollars single-handedly.

As far as Cameron is concerned, the filmmaker has promised that he will soon release the Avatar sequels, which have been in development for over eleven years. In a past interview, Cameron had explained that his methodical approach to moviemaking meant he and his team had to think long and hard about what made the first {Avatar] so successful, before ever starting work on the sequels.

"When I sat down to write the sequels, I knew there were going to be three at the time and eventually it turned into four, I put together a group of writers and said, 'I don't want to hear anybody's new ideas or anyone's pitches until we have spent some time figuring out what worked on the first film, what connected, and why it worked. They kept wanting to talk about the new stories. I said, 'We aren't doing that yet.' Eventually I had to threaten to fire them all because they were doing what writers do, which is to try and create new stories. I said, 'We need to understand what the connection was and protect it, protect that ember and that flame.'"

Written and directed by James Cameron, Avatar 2 stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, Edie Falco, Kate Winslet, Oona Chaplin, Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh, and David Thewlis. The film is slated to release in theaters on December 16, 2022.