Avatar: The Way of Water is the sequel to the 2009 epic tale Avatar. Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldaña are back as Na’vi heroes Jake Sully and Neytiri. Most people agree that the visuals in the Avatar movies are more important than the story. Avatar: The Way of Water makes a breakthrough debut of $134 million. It has had a gross budget of nearly $350 million, which has led to the question of whether it is a delusion or a dream come true for Cameron. The next two weeks will decide its fate against the Marvels.
Sources report a global debut success for a film, earning $434.5 million, comprising $134 million domestically and $300.5 million internationally. This places it as 2022’s fourth-highest domestic debut, alongside The Batman, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and Thor: Love and Thunder.
The reported budget has been $350 million. The movie is three hours and 12 minutes long, with the highest technological advances. The question arises: will it earn enough to cover the budget or not? Its predecessor had collected a domestic total of $760 million. People have criticized the movie for being a big-budget movie, but that is not true. There are other movies that have been more expensive. It includes Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, ($379 million), Avengers: Age of Ultron, ($365 million), and Avengers: Endgame ($356 million).
The critics, studios, and analysts have faith in Cameron, and they say loud and clear that he will do it. The sequels 3, 4, and 5 will be released in 2024, 2026, and 2028, respectively. However, Cameron has other thoughts too. He said in an interview that if Avatar: The Way of Water does not go as expected, then the franchise will wind up with a third sequel. He gave the statement, “The market could be telling us we’re done in three months, or we might be semi-done, meaning: ‘OK, let’s complete the story within movie three, and not go on endlessly’ if it’s just not profitable. We are pretty sure that Avatar: The Way of Water made a debut breakthrough.
Since its release, Avatar: The Way of Water has received mostly positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an overall rating of 78%. This includes:
- ‘Fresh’ at 63% (with only 8% labeled ‘rotten’),
- ‘Certified Fresh’ at 44%,
- ‘Audiences Favored’ at 42%,
- ‘Critics Favored’ at 77%,
- ‘Undecided’ at 12%.
Some reviewers expressed concern over the movie’s message. For instance, certain traditions should be questioned when they no longer serve a useful purpose. Other reviewers preferred to focus on what this movie was trying to convey rather than criticize what they perceived as its missed opportunities.
For fans of James Cameron’s previous works such as Aliens or Titanic, Avatar: The Way of Water embodies many of their favorite themes and motifs, including nature vs. technology and tradition vs. innovation. In an era where social media platforms challenge long-standing traditions daily, Avatar offers a unique perspective on these age-old cultural dilemmas through interactions between humans and nonhuman creatures such as dragons or mammoths.