Avatar the Way of Water: Sink or Float?


Avatar is back in theaters with a new sequel, Avatar the Way of Water, set to release in theaters on December 16th. This new installment in the franchise will take place over a decade after the events of the first movie, and will still focus on the main character, Jake Sully, and his family. There was a lot of time and development that went into the making of this movie. Enough so, that even the director, James Cameron is biting his nails.

Avatar Two needs to be, “the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history. That’s your threshold. That’s your break even,” says Cameron. With sources saying it cost $250 million to make the movie, it is questionable as to why he is setting a bar that would gross around two billion just to “break even.” This is not due to the budget of the actual film, but all the technology that was developed to make the movie. A key tool Avatar used is a process called performance capture. It is when the motion of actors is captured on set and then later relayered with special effects to create these fictional characters. This was used in the original Avatar as well as the sequel. The new film proved difficult, however, with a lot of scenes taking place in water, making performance capture much more difficult. Because of this, new performance capture had to be developed which cost Cameron greatly. This not only explains the high gross goal but also why it took over a decade to make, with several delays.

“It will gain the box office earnings of your typical blockbuster. Will it make a lot from a business perspective? Heck No. But from a moviegoer’s perspective, heck yes,” says San Marcos Avatar fan Nathan Kenedy. It is hard to say whether Avatar will hit this mark, but we do know that there is still a third in the making as it was filmed along with the second and is set to release in 2024. James Cameron is ambitious with a fourth and a fifth planned if this one is successful. But only time will tell and once it premieres December 16th it will be shown whether or not this film is a sink or a float.  

Avatar characters, and Jake Sully