The Avatar sequels have become their own punchline. Yes, one would assume that the highest grossing film of all-time would get a sequel, but 2009 was a long time ago, and enthusiasm for the movie has fizzled in the years since. Perhaps if they had kept on their original timetable, or if James Cameron played by normal franchise rules (non-stop tie-ins, merchandising, etc.) it would still be on people’s minds. But as it stands, we get a silly little Avatar sequel announcement every 12-18 months.
Here is your regularly scheduled Avatar sequel announcement. Cameron swung by CinemaCon in Las Vegas today to announce that he is planning fourAvatar sequels, and they will start hitting theaters in 2018. Specifically, Avatar 2 is due Christmas 2018,Avatar 3 is due Christmas 2020, Avatar 4 is due Christmas 2022, and Avatar 5 is due Christmas 2023. Keep in mind that once upon a time, Avatar 2 was supposed to shoot in 2014 for a 2016 release.
I understand that Cameron loves technology, and he wants the technology to be at a place where he can make his vision, a vision that demands people see his movies in a theater. Unfortunately, the story for Avataris noble-savage bullcrap, and I’m not really raring for eight more hours of it. Technological advancements are great, but they should be in service of great storytelling, and Pandora isn’t a world I’ve been aching to return to.
But if there’s one thing Cameron knows how to do, it’s how to prove his doubters wrong at the box office. Even if the film is met with critical malaise, he’s been the champion of the box office twice over. Then again, that was in a time when there wasn’t a little franchise called “Star Wars” in the way. Now that there’s actual competition in December, it will be interesting to see if Cameron is still king of the world or just his little planet of Pandora.