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Avatar: The Way of Water

Avatar: The Way of Water is set to be the most expensive film ever

On track to double the original's opening weekend, it needs more to even profit.

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Following on from the titanic success of the first Avatar film, director James Cameron alleged that around $2 billion has been spent on its upcoming sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water.

Set to be released on the 16th December, it follows the journey of Jake (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña) as they become parents, protect their family and explore more of Pandora in doing so, particularly underwater.

Avatar opened to a domestic weekend of $77 million and made a total of $2.7 billion at the global box office, and as Variety reports, this sequel is estimated to open to $150-175 million domestically, doubling its predecessor, this is a far cry from an amount that will break even.

Cameron called Avatar: The Way of Water "the worst business case in movie history."

He said: "You'd have to be the third or fourth highest grossing film in history. That's your threshold. That's your break even."

This lands the sequel somewhere between Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($2.07 billion) and Titanic ($2.2 billion). Cameron's first Avatar movie, however, grossed $2.9 billion, and was the highest grossing film for over a decade, so there is hope of reaching this lofty figure. If Cameron's claims are true, Avatar: The Way of Water would be the most expensive film ever made by a substantial margin.

Returning viewers will play a key role in the financial success of the film, as they did with the first. Releasing two years behind initial estimates, it's possible that marketing costs have played a heavy role in the price of the sequel to keep audiences eager throughout production. Previous estimates have placed the film's domestic gross around $650 million, so it would need not only national but global success to be profitable. In any case, there isn't long to go now until we'll know.

Avatar: The Way of Water

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