Last year, Avengers: Endgame managed to do the seemingly impossible by breaking Avatar’s record, becoming the highest-grossing movie of all time at the box office. The question now becomes, can James Cameron’s long-awaited Avatar 2 bring the record back to Pandora? The jury is still out on that one, but one of the movie’s stars, Stephen Lang, seems to think so.
Stephen Lang appeared in James Cameron’s 2009 sci-fi blockbuster as Colonel Quaritch. While many questions remain, Lang will be returning, despite his character seemingly meeting his demise. During a recent interview, the actor was discussing the upcoming sequel, which has been in the works for years now. At one point, he was specifically asked whether or not he thinks Avatar 2 can overtake Avengers: Endgame at the box office. Lang had a simple three-word answer to that.
“I expect so.”
2009 was a wildly different time for the movie business. Released in December, Avatar earned $77 million on its opening box office weekend. Yet, it just kept bringing in the money week after week with very little drop-off, all the way through summer 2010. That, coupled with unprecedented success overseas, led to the movie earning $2.79 billion at the global box office. The record stood for nearly a decade, as many other franchise flicks such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens came along and couldn’t touch that figure. When The Force Awkens, arguably the most anticipated movie of the decade, topped out at just over $2 billion, it seemed like James Cameron’s record might be safe forever.
Then Avengers: Endgame happened. Last year’s Marvel epic served as the culmination of more than a decade of interconnected cinematic storytelling. It was an unprecedented global pop culture moment, that benefited greatly from that all-timer of a cliffhanger in Infinity War, which also grossed over $2 billion. After months in theaters and an impressive global run, director Joe and Anthony Russo’s MCU entry grossed $2.8 billion. That put it, by a nose (as far as these things are concerned) above Avatar.
Sequels, quite often, can gross more than their predecessors. By that logic, Avatar 2 stands a chance to taking the record. However, it’s been more than a decade and it’s much more difficult for a movie to have the legs that the original had. The sequel, which will be released by Disney on December 17, 2021, stands to be a big hit. But a hit that brings in nearly $3 billion? That’s a tall order. And there are so many unknown factors at play. Will people still care by the time the sequel arrives? Will it be received well by critics?
The more likely scenario here is that an eventual Avatar re-release, to hype up Avatar 2, will bring in enough money to see it once again claim the top spot at the box office. With that, Avengers: Endgame‘s record could be relatively short-lived. Either way, Disney stands to make a ton of money, as three further Avatar sequels are planned with release dates set on December 22, 2023, December 19, 2025, and December 17, 2027. This news comes to us via The National.