The 'Avatar' Sequels Have a Reported Budget of One Billion Dollars

Sunday, 01 October 2017 - 4:14PM
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Sunday, 01 October 2017 - 4:14PM
The 'Avatar' Sequels Have a Reported Budget of One Billion Dollars
20th Century Fox
Considering James Cameron has a knack for making absurdly expensive movies, it shouldn't come as too big a surprise that he's keeping that trend alive and well over the next several years.

Because Cameron's upcoming four Avatar sequels are going to be even pricier than the original, which was among the most expensive movies ever made back in 2009. Speaking to Variety, 21st Century Fox chairman Lachland Murdoch (son of infamous media mogul Rupert Murdoch) claimed the Avatar films "will be the most expensive movies of all time," with an expected budget of over one billion dollars split between them. 

That collective budget will have to surpass one billion by a substantial amount if it truly wants to claim that title. Currently, the most expensive movie ever made is Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides from 2011, which had a budget of around $400 million. The original Avatar cost about $237 million, so if Cameron really wants his sequels to be at the top, and they really don't have to be, he'll need to spend closer to two billion.

So that budget is likely to get higher, and it's easy to see why they're confident. Not adjusting for inflation, Avatar and Cameron's Titanic are the two highest grossing movies ever made (after adjusting for inflation, that title would go to Gone With The Wind). But since it'll have been over a decade by the time Avatar 2 finally comes out, it feels naive to assume that many people still care about the world of Pandora. 

The best thing the sequels have going for them is their unpredictability - since the first movie was just a beat-for-beat remake of Disney's Pocahontas, there's some ambiguity about what could possibly happen during the next four, especially when Cameron's bringing back dead characters. Beyond that, we only know that the Na'vi children of Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) have been cast. 


For any remaining Avatar fans who must be out there somewhere, it's going to be awhile before anyone finds out much more. Cameron has long since abandoned Avatar 2's original release date of Christmas 2018, with a new release date scheduled for the end of 2020.

At the very least, the sequels have begun filming back to back, so there's a better chance than before that Cameron might stick to this date. He probably won't stick to the budget though, so expect that to increase.
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