Image: Avatar/20th Century Fox
Love it or hate it, James Cameron’s Avatar (2009) is the most lucrative movie of all time. While it was overtaken by Avengers: Endgame in 2019, a recent re-release of Cameron’s sci-fi epic in China saw it dethrone the MCU flick; Avatar is now back on top with $2.847 billion at the global box office.
All that said, Cameron “would love” to see another movie topple his record before the release of Avatar 2 next year. Game recognizes game, and Cameron was anything but disheartened when Endgame beat out his movie, albeit temporarily. In fact, soon after it happened, the filmmaker took to social media to congratulate the superhero mega-franchise on its immense achievement. “I see you Marvel,” he wrote. “Congratulations to Avengers Endgame on becoming the new box-office king.”
Congratulations, @MarvelStudios! pic.twitter.com/DWZDX0uDVi
— Avatar (@officialavatar) July 22, 2019
Cameron is immensely passionate about cinema, so it makes sense he’d be happy to see anybody achieve success in the industry. Speaking to The Irish Times, Cameron explained why he celebrated the fact that a rival movie dethroned his own:
What is good for the industry is good for me and I celebrate it. So when a movie came along that took more money than Avatar I took out a full-colour ad in the movie trade papers and said ‘congratulations’. I celebrated the fact that a movie can still make that kind of money.
Looking ahead to the long-awaited release of Avatar 2 in December 2022, Cameron says that he wants to see another movie between now and then dominate the box office, perhaps even breaking his record. “Is it still possible to make that kind of money? I would love it if another film came out and made more money than Avatar,” he said. “Then I’d know the business I invested 40 years of my life in is still there and still healthy.”
There are certainly some big movie releases in the pipeline between now and Avatar 2, especially in the superhero space; look no further than Spider-Man: No Way Home and The Batman. Then there’s Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, which promises to be the science fiction epic of a generation. Will Avatar still be on top this time next year?
Avatar 2 is currently slated to release on December 16, 2022. And that’s far from the end of the franchise. Cameron is already working on Avatars 3, 4, and 5 — a decade of adventures on Pandora await!
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