James Cameron has opened up about Avatar's box office defeat at the hands of Avengers: Endgame. The Titanic director admitted the toppling of his 2009 juggernaut has given him hope for the future of film.
For 7,817 consecutive days, Avatar was the world's highest-grossing movie. At the time of writing, Avatar has a worldwide gross of $2,789.7 billion, but it slipped into second place next to Avengers: Endgame's $2,796.3 billion. Even if it was a close-run race, Endgame's theatrical re-release helped give Earth's Mightiest Heroes an extra nudge.
Cameron told Deadline that Endgame overtaking Avatar was a "relief," explaining, "It gives me a lot of hope... Avengers: Endgame is demonstrable proof that people will still go to movie theaters." Earlier this year, Cameron sent a congratulatory post to the cast and crew of Endgame and gave Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige a pat on the back for the unprecedented success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Discussing his thoughts on the long-awaited Avatar sequels, Cameron added, "The thing that scared me most about making Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 was that the market might have shifted so much that it simply was no longer possible to get people that excited about going and sitting in a dark room with a bunch of strangers to watch something."
With huge movies like Justice League and X-Men: Dark Phoenix bombing at the box office, there's arguably more than ever riding on some of Hollywood's biggest entries. While there's a constant threat that movies can crumble under their own hype, Avengers: Endgame delivered on its promise to top Avengers: Infinity War.
Although Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 were originally scheduled to release in 2014 and 2015 respectively, a slew of delays have continuously pushed them back. Despite filming on Avatar 2 finally starting in late 2017, Cameron has been equally thorough with post-production. As it stands, Avatar 2 is set to arrive on December 17, 2021, followed by Avatar 3 on December 22, 2023.