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Avatar: The Way of Water’s eye-watering budget ‘revealed’

It’s one of the top three most expensive films of all time

Jacob Stolworthy
Tuesday 29 November 2022 20:06 GMT
Avatar- The way of Water trailer.mp4

The budget of Avatar: The Way of Water is bigger than expected.

In recent years, the sequel’s budget ballooned due to the creation of technology required by James Cameron to depict the film’s extended underwater sequences.

In the director’s own words, the sequel to the 2009 blockbuster – which is the most successful film of all time – is “very f***ing” expensive.

Speaking to GQ in an interview, Cameron said the film cost so much that he told the studio that Avatar: The Way of Water represented “the worst business case in movie history”.

Elaborating on this, Cameron claimed that in order for the film to start making back more money than it cost, it would have to become “the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history”.

“That’s your threshold,” he said, adding: “That’s your break even.”

It seems Cameron is referring to domestic box office gross, considering the third and fourth highest-grossing films of all time are Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Avengers: Infinity War, which have takings of $2.05bn (£1.72bn) and $2.04bn (£1.7bn), respectively.

Cameron has two films in the top five, with Titanic in third place grossing $2.2bn (£2.19bn) and Avatar in the top spot with $2.9bn (£2.4bn).

Sitting in the middle is Avengers: Endgame with $2.79bn (£2.45bn).

'Avatar: The Way of Water'
'Avatar: The Way of Water' (Disney)

However, the budget has seemingly been revealed by The Hollywood Reporter, who claim it sits between the $350m (£292.4m) to $400m (£334m) range.

This easily makes Avatar: The Way of Water, which is released in cinemas on 16 December, one of the most expensive films of all time, alongside Endgame and Avengers: Age of Ultron.

The only film that could be more expensive is Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which cost $379m (£316.6m) – although Cameron’s comments suggest The Way of Water is most likely in the number one spot.

The first Avatar had a budget of $237m (£198m).

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