Disney’s “Avatar: The Way of Water” has received a highly sought-after release in China, which is encouraging news for a movie that needs strong box office performance to cover its hefty production costs.
One of the few Hollywood films to have recently been permitted access to the Chinese market is the eagerly anticipated “Avatar” sequel from 2009. Government officials in the area have been strict about which films can be screened for its entertainment-hungry population, and they started tightening restrictions on Western films even before the pandemic.
The Wall Street Journal broke the news first, and it was announced on the official Weibo account of 20th Century Studios
“The Way of Water” director James Cameron hasn’t given it a budget figure, although estimations place it over $250 million. The sequel’s budget is so expensive, according to the writer and director, that it will need to become the third or fourth biggest grossing movie ever to break even. Accordingly, the movie will have to surpass $2 billion globally
The success of “Avatar” at the box office in 2009 was largely due to international ticket sales, which accounted for $2.13 billion of the movie’s overall $2.91 billion in ticket sales. Chinese funding totaled about $265 million.
China was the second-highest grossing theatre market in the world before the pandemic. It has been one of the fastest markets to rebound and provide movie office success since theatres in the nation reopened.
The total box office in China in 2009 was $910 million. Its box office took in over $8 billion a decade later.
The fact that this release will occur on December 16, the same day as its domestic launch, is arguably its most significant feature. By releasing “Avengers: Endgame” simultaneously in the U.S. and China, Disney was able to achieve the highest worldwide opening weekend in movie history.
As audiences flocked to theatres to watch “Avatar” in premium formats, the movie enjoyed tremendous success in China both during its initial release and during its subsequent rerelease in early 2021. These screenings can increase overall ticket sales but are more expensive than standard laser or digital showings.