avatar sequel budget

Bless James Cameron‘s heart – he’s determined now more than ever to make those multiple Avatar sequels that no one is likely looking forward to. While the first film was undeniably a box office juggernaut, taking in $2.788 billion, people aren’t exactly chomping at the bit for a sequel. But James Cameron soldiers on, shooting four consecutive Avatar sequels at once with a whopper of a price tag. Read more about the Avatar sequel budget below.

After eight years of false starts, filming on Avatar 2 finally began this week, with Cameron about to make history as the first director to shoot four films consecutively. Although the filmmaker describes the shoot as one massive production:

It’s not back-to-back. It’s really all one big production. It’s more the way you would shoot a miniseries. So we’ll be shooting across all [Avatar scripts] simultaneously. So Monday I might be doing a scene from Movie Four, and Tuesday I’m doing a scene from Movie One. … We’re working across, essentially, eight hours of story. It’s going to be a big challenge to keep it all fixed in our minds, exactly where we are, across that story arc at any given point. It’s going to be probably the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. I’m sure the actors will be challenged by that as well. It’s like, ‘No, no, no, no, this person hasn’t died yet, so you’re still in this phase of your life.’ It’s a saga.

The sequels will take us back to Pandora, and feature all your favorite characters, like Sam Worthington as Whats-His-Face, and also Zoe Saldana as that character who probably has a name, and even Stephen Lang‘s character, General Bad Guy, will be back even though he died in the first one. They’re all going to be there, in 3D, and so will those mind-blowing special effects that made the first film admittedly pretty entertaining. But those effects don’t come cheap.

According to Deadline (by way of MovieWeb), the not-entirely-clear price tag for Cameron’s Avatar sequels will result in an “estimated collective budget expected to surpass $1 billion.” Of course, there’s also the very likely chance that the shoot and follow-up marketing might exceed that, so who knows how much this will all actually cost. So next time you’re going about your day living paycheck to paycheck, stop for a minute and think about how much money Jim Cameron is spending on four Avatar movies.

Obviously, Fox feels pretty confident about all of this or else they wouldn’t have given Cameron the go-ahead. But with Avatar being the highest-grossing movie of all time, it probably wasn’t that hard of a decision, and now the studio is apparently hoping for lightning to strike twice. And then three times, and then hopefully four. And then maybe five times for good measure. As for what to expect with these films, Cameron had this to offer:

“The interesting conceit of the ‘Avatar’ sequels is it’s pretty much the same characters. There are new characters and a lot of new settings and creatures, so I’m taking characters you know and putting them in unfamiliar places and moving them on this greater journey. But it’s not a whole bunch of new characters every time. There’s not a new villain every time, which is interesting. Same guy. Same motherf*cker through all four movies. He is so good and he just gets better. I know Stephen Lang is gonna knock this out of the park.”

Avatar 2 will hit theaters December 18, 2020. And then there will be an Avatar sequel released every year for the rest of your natural life, I guess.

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