How Far Will Avatar 2 Go?The Dark Herald
Avatar: The Way of Water, while unlikely to break any real box-office records does indeed have legs.
It is currently sitting at roughly $1.5 billion, which combines foreign and domestic gross receipts. Granted, the foreign box office is doubling the US domestic take to reach that amount, and studios always get a lower cut of that. In real terms, Disney is at the moment seeing a combined total of about $650 million after the theaters take their cut, but well before Uncle Sam takes his. On top of that will be the various backend payouts that Disney isn’t going to want to make but will have to anyway.
Given that marketing costs have shot up to an absurd dollar per dollar of a film’s budget, it really is going to have to crack the $2 billion mark before it sees a profit. Although I strongly suspect Iger will happily welcome anything that looks at all like a win given the terrible year Disney had in 2022.
Honestly, it’s not Iger’s win either, Avatar 2 was a Fox Studios’ project long before Disney bought Fox. While Cameron’s company Lightstorm will break even this weekend. Disney has a bigger problem. They have no streaming rights to Avatar 2. Fox Studios had no streaming service at that time, so there would have been no such caveat written into their contract with Cameron. The Avatar franchise was NOT part of the Fox aquisition. James Cameron owns it. Meaning Disney can’t just slap it up on Disney Plus without any additional cost like they do with anything by Marvel. If Mickey the Great and Terrible wants it on his private channel he’s going to have to pay about $200 million to Lightstorm to do it.
And honestly, I don’t know if that is remotely worth it for Disney to do so. Chapek might blanched at the bill but I predict Iger won’t think twice about paying it. Which means Avatar: The Way of Water will have to make at least $2 billion before they see a dime of profit.
Everybody is asking if Avatar 2 can crack that $2 billion mark. The trajectory looks to be more typical of a James Cameron film than a Marvel film. So everyone in the trades are asking not if but when will it cross the $2 billion mark.
I on the other had am asking what is that funny smell?
Here is the deal, something weird is going on with Avatar 2’s daily numbers. Lets call it an odd trend that might mean nothing, unless it continues next week. I’ll let you know next Friday if this trend continues through next week I will know something fishy is going on then.