Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, “Avatar: The Way of Water” tells the story of the Sully family.
Disney “Avatar: The Way of Water” had a coveted release in China, which is a promising sign for a movie that needs big box office sales to make up for its massive budget.
The long-awaited sequel to 2009’s “Avatar” is one of the few Hollywood blockbusters that have been given access to the Chinese market in recent months. Government officials in the region, who had begun tightening restrictions on Western films even before the pandemic, have been strict about which films can be shown to their entertainment-hungry audience.
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The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal and posted on 20th Century Studios’ official Weibo account.
Director James Cameron hasn’t put a price tag on Waterway, but it’s estimated to be in excess of $250 million. The writer and director told GQ that the sequel’s budget is so high that the movie would do it Needing to become the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history to break even. This means that the film will need to break the $2 billion mark globally.
Overall international ticket sales were a major factor in the box office success of Avatar in 2009, with $2.13 billion of the film’s $2.91 billion total ticket sales coming from outside the domestic market. China contributed about $265 million.
Before the epidemic, China was the second highest performing theater market in the world. Since the reopening of cinemas in the country, it has been one of the fastest markets to recover and achieve success at the box office.
In 2009, the box office gross in China was $910 million. A decade later, the box office has exceeded $8 billion.
Perhaps the most important thing about this release is that it will take place on December 16th, the same day it debuted domestically. Disney found success with this strategy when it released “Avengers: Endgame” on the same day in the US and China, which led to the highest worldwide opening weekend in cinema history.
“Avatar” experienced huge success in China during its initial release, and Subsequent re-release in early 2021, as audiences flocked to cinemas to watch the film in premium formats. These shows are more expensive than traditional laser or digital shows and can boost overall ticket sales.