Hollywood studios have been distributing massive budgets to blockbuster films that they believe will be successes at the box office. With Avatar: The Way of Water gearing up to splash into theaters soon, the buzz around this possible box office success is inevitable.
But how successful does The Way of Water need to be? Early reports claim that the production budget alone was in the $250 million range, but James Cameron is keeping a tight lip about the hard number spent to create his long-awaited sequel to Avatar, which had a budget somewhere below $400 million in total budget and marketing cost.
The only answer Cameron gave us about the sequel’s total budget was “Very fucking [expensive]” (via GQ magazine).
'Avatar: The Way of Water'Credit: 20th Century Studios
Cameron apparently told Disney and 20th Century Studios executives that his sequel budget was so high that it represented “the worst business case in movie history.”
“You have to be the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history,” Cameron said about the estimates needed to break even on the film’s budget. “That’s your threshold. That’s your break even."
Personally, I don’t think Cameron has much to worry about. Two of his films, Titanicand Avatar, are currently the first and third highest-grossing films of all time. For a director to have two films that have crossed the $2 billion mark worldwide, unadjusted for inflation, is astonishing, so there is a lot of hope behind The Way of Water.
Luckily for Cameron, The Way of Water’s budget can’t be that shocking of a number. If the studio believes a film will make over $1 billion at the box office, then the budget can be as high as it needs to be. Currently, the highest budget for any film belongs to Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, with a budget of $422 million. The reason this film was so expensive was due to the multitude of filming locations, the use of 3D cameras similar to those used on Avatar, and the expense of working with 10 visual effects companies.
I will be one of those many people contributing to the film’s box office revenue. Avatar: The Way of Water will land in theaters on Dec. 16.
Will you be watching Avatar: The Way of Water in theaters? Let us know in the comments!