Does the World Really Need Four Avatar Movies?

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Avatar 4Earlier this week, James Cameron took to CinemaCon 2016 to make the bold and surprising announcement that there would be not only an Avatar 2, but also an Avatar 3 and Avatar 4, with the Avatar movies coming “2023” and beyond (according to WhatCulture and various other outlets).

The announcement felt like going to the gym and posting about it on social media — good for you, but does anyone really, truly care?

It’s actually one of the biggest problems plaguing Hollywood right now, where directors and studios announce their plans too far ahead of time, before they even have a chance to gauge the future marketplace to determine if these upcoming movies are something fans actually want. I can tell you that I’m only mildly interested in an Avatar 2 as it is, and although it’s likely that I’ll journey to the theater upon its release to give it a go, I don’t see myself wanting or even being semi-interested in a third and fourth film in the franchise.

That’s not to say that the original Avatar wasn’t a good film. For its time, it’s safe to say that it was a formidable option in theaters. But I think Cameron and 20th Century Fox need to take a step back and slow their role, so-to-speak. If you pay attention to internet comments (which admittedly is a beast of an entirely strange and typically angry nature), you should take a look at the comments that these news articles announcing the numerous sequels are getting. The announcement is getting torn apart in comments sections all over the web, and rightfully so.

There are numerous reasons why the announcement is so off-putting. First and foremost, the original Avatar movie came out in 2009, and Avatar 2 isn’t scheduled for release until 2018, nine years later. Somehow, I find it hard to believe these so-called “epic” movies are going to be able to be released on schedule, given their massive budgets and how long it will take to make each movie. Secondly, this would likely tie James Cameron up until 2022. This will mean by the time the 4th Avatar releases, Cameron will be 68 years old. That isn’t to say that he wouldn’t be able to keep going at 68 — Spielberg, Scorcese and Eastwood prove otherwise — but it also means that we’re less likely going to get anymore movies like Titanic or The Abyss. Time on this earth is limited, after all.

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I’ll also note that the shock value, or rather the awe and spectacle of the original Avatar film, would likely lose its charm with the sequels. By now, we’ve all seen great visual spectacles on screen, and the sort of interest in the unknown blue beings and the colorful world loses its appeal and second, third and fourth time around.

Finally, the possibility of there being an Avatar 4 just feels gross because it sounds so much like a cash-grab. Obviously, it’s too early on to actually claim that it is, in fact, a cash grab. But knowing that the first movie made so much at the box office, and pairing that with the fact that we haven’t even seen the first Avatar sequel just yet, it’s hard to imagine the third and fourth movies being anything but cash grabs.

What do you think? How many Avatar movies do we all need before we hold hands around the world? Sound off in the comments below and let us know your thoughts.


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15 Comments on "Does the World Really Need Four Avatar Movies?"

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ctuna
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I don’t see where Avatar can go.

CinemaConFan
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Seriously? This is a HUGE brand. A whole ‘planet’ in Pandora is available to explore (but it’s actually a moon). Underwater, other sprawling land environments, aerial battles, space battles, all-out war between the Na’vi and humans, children of the main characters, etc…

ctuna
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Its still cowboys and Indians in outer space.
How are the avatarians going to squire space ships
will they suddenly have secret tech they have forsaken
like in that animated movie Tera. I admit the CG was breathtaking
but the plot has limitations.

Bobby Bernstein
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Agree here. CGI was great, but will we be as impressed? I think at this point it’d be more of a novelty…

CinemaConFan
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Although certainly the 3D, CGI quality, and artistry of AVATAR 1 tremendously helped to make it the biggest worldwide box office hit of all time….those reasons alone simply cannot explain why the movie became the hit that it did. Simply put, audiences loved the overall experience of the movie. But I will admit that at least here in the U.S. , especially on Internet blog sites, the movie hasn’t been thought of very highly with time. But when the movie came out, the reception overall was much more positive. In regards to the sequels, it’s not just going to be… Read more »
CinemaConFan
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To me, “cowboys and Indians in outer space” is a fabulous concept. I find criticisms of the plot of AVATAR 1 to be lame. I don’t need for a story setup to be original. I just want great execution (whether that’s based on a classic premise or more original idea)….and that’s what I thought AVATAR 1 did splendidly. That said, I’m sure that AVATAR 2 will have a much more sophisticated/original story than AVATAR 1. They had a writers room for the sequels….which is a much better path to greatness in storytelling.

Bobby Bernstein
Guest

Thanks for commenting. My concern here is that it’s been so long since the original, which was applauded (and rightfully so) for its FX and CG. Now that we’re heading into 2018, good CG/FX are much more common than they were many years ago when the original released. I feel like it’d have to have diminished returns at this point.

CinemaConFan
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I’ll take whatever Jim Cameron can give me. He doesn’t mess around. This guy is virtually counting on people being naysayers to the idea of four sequels – but when AVATAR 2 comes out and blows audiences away – they’ll be HIGHLY anticipating the next three movies in the franchise!!! The visuals are going to be ridiculously off the charts in these sequels.

Bobby Bernstein
Guest

Also agree here. James Cameron is a cinematic god. Maybe I shouldn’t be doubting him…

CinemaConFan
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Cinema Tip: Don’t bet against Jim Cameron.

CinemaConFan
Guest

I understand if somebody didn’t like AVATAR 1 and therefore aren’t looking forward to the sequels….but I would follow up with such a person and ask if they like the MCU movies and if they’re looking forward to more of them. There’s a pretty good chance that an average moviegoer is looking forward to more MCU movies :-) So if somebody likes AVATAR 1 – why not get excited for more? These AVATAR sequels have been in development for years and the vision has expanded….meaning the ambition for these is off the charts.