Avatar 2 budget: How much did The Way of Water cost?

Kate Winslet in Avatar 2, the Way of Water20th Century Studios

Avatar 2, titled Avatar: The Way of Water, is one of the biggest and most expensive movies of all time… but how much did cost, and is its budget bigger than the original Avatar?

You can say this for Avatar: it looked and still looks pricey. James Cameron set out to make the ultimate spectacle, breaking new ground for 3D movies and elevating visual effects to a new level. The resulting movie remains breathtaking to this day.

It’s still the highest-grossing movie of all time by a comfortable distance, with Avengers: Endgame briefly taking the crown before a China re-release put the MCU in its place. Avatar 2 is already catching up, approaching the top 10 biggest movies ever made.

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With the sequel in cinemas now, some people may be wondering: how much did Avatar 2 cost to make, and was it more expensive than the first one?

Avatar 2 budget: How much did it cost?

Avatar 2 is believed to have a budget of $460 million, making it the most expensive movie in Hollywood history by a considerable distance.

This estimate comes via Deadline, which cited its sources reporting the Avatar 2 budget to be around $460 million before more than $100 million on marketing.

James Cameron revealed the sequel will need to be the “third or fourth highest-grossing film in history [to be profitable]. That’s your threshold. That’s your breakeven.”

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Avatar: The Way of Water was originally said to have a production budget of $250 million, and its three planned sequels (two of which may never go ahead if the first follow-up flops, Cameron has warned) were earlier believed to have a combined budget of $1 billion. As per Variety, Fox media heir Lachlan Murdoch earlier said: “These will be the most expensive movies of all time.”

Avatar 2 budget: Is it more expensive than Avatar?

Yes, by a massive margin: Avatar 2 cost $460 million without marketing, while the original Avatar cost $237 million, plus $150 million for promotion, as reported by The Wrap.

Most expensive movies of all time

Below you’ll find a list of the most expensive movies ever made, starting with the biggest budget and including Avatar 2. We’ve slotted it in with the most recent estimate. Note: this is unadjusted for inflation.

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  • Avatar: The Way of Water: $460 million
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: $379 million
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron: $365 million
  • Avengers: Endgame: $356 million
  • Fast X: $340 million
  • Avengers: Infinity War : $325 million
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End: $300 million
  • Justice League: $300 million
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story: $275 million
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: $275 million
  • John Carter: $264 million
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: $263 million
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi: $262 million
  • Tangled: $260 million
  • The Lion King: $260 million
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens: $259 million
  • Spider-Man 3: $258 million
  • Beauty and the Beast: $255 million
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: $250 million
  • Furious 7: $250 million
  • The Fate of the Furious: $250 million
  • No Time to Die: $250 million
  • Thor: Love and Thunder $250 million

According to Box Office Pro, Avatar 2 is projected to double the original blockbuster’s opening weekend, and with a theatrical release date secured in China, a worldwide gross close to $2 billion is no longer out of the question.

Avatar: The Way of Water is in cinemas now. You can read our review here, find out the best way to watch the movie here, and check out the rest of our coverage here.