When Avatar hit so massively at the box office in late 2009, it was nearly a foregone conclusion that at least one follow-up would be developed. It later became apparent, though, that writer/director James Cameron was developing multiple sequels, with the first of which originally scheduled to bow in 2016. Now, though, that film has been delayed by a year
Speaking with Variety, 20th Century Fox chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos spoke about how they want to give the series’ visionary the proper time to make the upcoming films the best they can be, specifically saying that, “Jim Cameron has his own pace.” He would go on to tell the trade that he “fully expects” the as-yet untitled Avatar 2 to hit theaters in the holiday season of 2016, with two subsequent films set to follow in 2018 and 2019, respectively. The chairman also said that he recently visited Cameron at his offices in New Zealand a couple of months back, and told the crowd of investors at the Gabelli & Company’s Movie & Entertainment Conference in New York City that what he saw there was certainly encouraging.
It’s a room…which is covered floor to ceiling with images, characters, worlds, settings. It’s the most amazing, breathtaking thing you’ve ever seen. His challenge is to put all of that in a movie.
The original Avatar film provided an enormous risk to 20th Century Fox, who gave it a reported budget of $237 million. Still, the unique use of 3D visuals at the time, as well as its beautifully realized world seemed to be something that audiences craved tremendously. Avatar would go on to become the most financially successful film of all time, grossing an absolutely astonishing $2.8 billion worldwide. While the world was whipped up in Avatar fever at the time the first film was released, it has since died down, but it’s clear that it will make a massive comeback in the near future.
In addition to the development of the subsequent films, Disney Parks is currently constructing “Pandora: The Land of Avatar” in Disney’s Animal Kingdom park in Orlando, Florida, which is scheduled to open to the public sometime in 2017: right before the second film is slated to hit theaters. Will audiences welcome the subsequent films like they welcomed the first one? What new technologies will the subsequent films feature to bring audiences back into theaters? We;ll have to find out when the first Avatar sequel arrives in theaters in December, 2017.
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