– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Avatar 2 has officially begun production this week (I know, I feel like it’s the sixth time that’s been reported). If we are to take it as fact that the film has officially begun filming, then it will have been over eight years since the first one was released that actual physical work has started on the first sequel.

Those who have been following this project know that Avatar 2 will only be the tip of the iceberg. Cameron doesn’t just have one or two follow-ups planned for the series, but rather four sequels that will be shot back-to-back-to-back-to-back. But how much will it cost?

RELATED: James Cameron Says Avatar Sequels Are In ‘Full-Tilt’ Production, Discusses Shooting On Virtual Sets

At the time of its production, the first Avatar was one of the most expensive films ever made, with a budget of $237 million. Of course, nowadays, it seems like every other movie has a budget pushing $250 million, but it was distinctly uncommon back in 2009. With that in mind, it became clear when Cameron teased the sequels that they would come with a similar or bigger budget.

Deadline is now reporting that the four sequels will have a combined budget of over $1 billion. That means that each one will have around or over a $250 million budget, but there will be a blurry line that separates the budgets between these films, since he is shooting them one after another.

While these are indeed some big numbers, earlier this year, it was rumored that the combined budget of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 would have a combined $1 billion budget. It’s a figure that hasn’t been confirmed, but all the same, it’s one that makes the budget from the Avatar sequels significantly less impressive.

But there’s no denying the scope of this single project. While Peter Jackson has shot two separate trilogies consecutively, no one has shot four films in this manner, so it’ll be interesting to see how it all turns out. How will the numbers line up with these movies, and with the huge marketing push that will be required to push them, and do they stand a hope of getting anywhere near the nearly $2.8 billion in box office grosses? It’s unlikely, but that’s not to say they can’t be a success in their own right.

Avatar 2 hits theaters on December 18, 2020.

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SOURCE: Deadline

  • SeanDon

    Am I the only one who found the movie kinda boring? Most people I know will say “movie was ok, but man was it cool looking!” I don’t know how much staying power that will have for 4 movies released 10+ yrs after the original.

    • The Skeptic

      Yes, other than the visual spectacle, Avatar was the Pocahontas story on steroids

    • Moby85

      I basically watched it and enjoyed it for the visuals and novelty of very well done 3D.

  • Lenin1959

    I’ve watched the (shorter) 3D version last year again and it is technically a BIG step forward. But yes, storywise it is shallow although I have to say it is offering a more detailed story than Star Wars: The Force Awakens by far.

    • Moby85


  • Moby85

    For me I’ll sum up Avatar as this: It is spectacle. I didn’t watch the first one in theaters twice due to it’s story, or any connection with it’s characters. But for the technical leap in 3D technology. It’s the same way I only watched “Titanic” for the sinking, or Lawrence of Arabia – spectacle. The problem with the Avatar sequels is that novelty is gone. Will lots of people see them? Sure, but $250 million production cost per film + associated marketing costs is a big gamble.

    • SeanDon

      Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m curious about. Will people continue to go just for the visuals alone. They better hope the story of the 2nd one is great, otherwise the next ones could be in trouble.

  • Kindofabigdeal

    I know this isn’t popular to say but I liked the first one. One spinny glowing lizard is all it takes to satisfy me.
    I feel like it was too original in it’s concepts but not in it’s storytelling. But people act like every blockbuster needs to be Shakespeare. This movie is all about pushing the envelope of special effects to reach the mass audience needed to justify their budget without being over complicated in it’s story. (see Cloud Atlas)
    Do we need 4 more movies? I don’t know. But I at least want to see a trailer before writing it off. Remember, this guy gave us Aliens and T2 and True Lies.

  • Kronx

    I never really bought into the premise of the movie, that they needed Avatars to speak with the Pandora natives. When I rejected the internal logic of the film, it was difficult to enjoy the story.

    And when the guy in the mech suit pulled out a giant knife, I almost walked out. If it wasn’t the exciting conclusion, I would have.

    Still, it looked great, and I’m willing to give the sequels a chance. A good space marine battle will always peak my interest.

    • Momitchell

      I believe they explained that the early human settlers onto Pandora were not accepted by the Navi and that they used the Avatars to be able to communicate and be acceptable to them – seems sound enough to me.
      Why did you find the giant knife weird? Even the guns on “Mech suits” run out of ammo, eventually (at least, they SHOULD).
      Maybe you’re just not really a fan of Sci-fi (Science-FICTION).

  • Momitchell

    $2.8 Billion… damn

  • Behemothrex

    Have to love the modern World, lets spend billions on movies but hell that dude starving over there or those researchers that barely have enough to continue work, screw them, lets make a movie!

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.