James Cameron says Avatar 2 has to make $2 billion at the box office

A still from Avatar 220th Century Studios

Avatar 2 needs to pull off a $2 billion haul at the box office for the sequel to be profitable, James Cameron says.

The new trailer for Avatar: The Way of Water describes it as the “motion picture event of a generation.” While some may poke fun at the original Avatar and argue its irrelevance, it’s as simple as this: they’re wrong.

It’s been 13 years since James Cameron’s mega-hit, still renowned for its polished, immersive VFX mastery today. After all this time, it’s still the highest-grossing movie of all time.

The hype for Avatar 2 is immense, but the question remains: will it make as much money as the first one? The director hopes so, for more reasons than one.

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Avatar 2 needs a historic box office haul

For Avatar 2 to be profitable, it’ll need to make at least $2 billion at the worldwide box office, sizing up to the likes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Avengers: Infinity War.

In an interview with GQ ahead of the sequel’s release, Cameron described it as “very f*cking” expensive, even branding it “the worst business case in movie history.”

“You have to be the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history [to be profitable]. That’s your threshold. That’s your break even,” he said.

Now, as far as we know, Avatar 2 had a budget of $250 million before marketing costs. However, Cameron’s remarks seem to place it higher – way higher, in fact. He’s yet to provide a hard number, but it appears The Way of Water may be the most expensive movie of all time.

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Amazingly, Cameron isn’t particularly fazed by such a challenge. “I like difficult. I’m attracted by difficult. Difficult is a f*cking magnet for me. I go straight to difficult,” he said.

“And I think it probably goes back to this idea that there are lots of smart, really gifted, really talented filmmakers out there that just can’t do the difficult stuff. So that gives me a tactical edge to do something nobody else has ever seen, because the really gifted people don’t f*cking want to do it.”

Avatar: The Way of Water hits cinemas on December 16. You can find out more about the movie here.

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