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Avatar 2 and its subsequent sequels can repair Disney’s issue with release successful Sci-Fi movie franchises. James Cameron’s long-gestating follow-up to 2009’s Avatar has been delayed several days, but will make its cinematic introduction in December 2022 (barring any additional setbacks, which can not be ruled out in this phase of uncertainty from Hollywood). After Disney purchases 20th Century Fox (currently 20th Century Studios), Avatar 2 will collapse under the broad Disney umbrella.
The first Avatar was, needless to say, the top-grossing film ever until 2019, as it had been overtaken by a different Disney franchise film, Avengers: Endgame. It can be that Avatar understands a re-release later on, which allows it to take over from Endgame, but it’s also possible that the House of Mouse will have similar hopes for its sequel, Avatar 2. And even though it does not quite reach those lofty heights, then it still ought to be a major weapon in Disney’s arsenal.
James Cameron should rarely be counted outside when it comes to the box office, especially when he is actually serving as director (after all, excluding documentaries, his last two movies have grossed almost $5 billion united ). That is the kind of clout Disney is in need of, especially when it’s increasingly reliant upon the MCU to provide the big wins, and after a decade or so when it has struggled with its Sci-Fi franchises in particular.
Disney’s Sci-Fi Movie Franchise Problem Explained
Disney could be a Hollywood superpower, possessing a range of unique studios that makes it almost impossible to match at the box office, but it has had its struggles when trying to start its own franchises out of those. The likes of Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm have all proven extremely successful over the years – through the MCU is the only one who has stayed incredibly consistent – but in terms of actual Disney movies, there’s been a problem: the likes of A Wrinkle In Time and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms are duds, leaving the studio using its own live-action remakes but little else.
This has been especially amplified within the Science-Fiction genre, where Disney’s problems with franchises are perhaps most obvious. Back in 2012, the Mouse House attempted to relaunch the TRON series with TRON: Legacy, which received mixed reviews and brought in $400 million at the box office, against a budget of $150m, hardly making it a resounding win for the studio. That was followed by 2012’s John Carter, which bombed with just $284m at the box office, contrary to an estimated budget of around $263, which makes it an all-time flop. 2015 attracted Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland that held a lot of promise during its build-up, but likewise failed to establish (grossing $209 million from a budget of about $180m), and in 2020 Artemis Fowl was unceremoniously dumped on Disney+ into little fanfare.
There are numerous variables involved in each of these failures, such as many specific to each property. However, Disney has apparently revealed a reluctance to fully embrace the genre while at the exact same time trying to use its strengths, resulting in movies that feel watered down and try to twist themselves to fit wider markets, but wind up in a middle ground where they do not quite appeal to either side. They have gone deeper on the lore and created genuinely imaginative, smart Sci-Fi films that there has often been a demand for, even while keeping it accessible for audiences, but they missed the mark on all counts.
Avatar 2 Can Give Finally Give Disney A Successful Sci-Fi Franchise
While Avatar 2 will soon be generated and released from 20th Century Studios, it’s nonetheless likely to be seen as a big chance (and even bigger winner) for Disney. The studio is quite clearly intent on making Avatar 2 one of its major tentpoles, positioning it to get the exact same December release slot, which it has previously given to Star Wars films in the last few years. Avatar was among the biggest benefits for Disney if they purchased Fox, not least since they already had an affiliation with the IP through the Animal Kingdom park, which houses an Avatar-themed location. This makes Avatar 2 even bigger because it can feed to these areas while being a significant box office success in its own right.
Although the box office’s future remains unclear in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, it’d take something drastic for Avatar 2 not to be a victory when it releases in December 2022. The first movie might not be treated with reverence today. However, it was still the greatest movie ever for almost an entire decade, and as stated, James Cameron is a box office draw. There is little precedent for the highest-grossing film ever to receive such a belated follow-up, but the success of franchise legacy-sequels such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens and World perhaps gives the best sign of the ballpark Avatar 2 will probably be in. It probably won’t beat out Avengers: Endgame, but it should still easily be a $1 billion film and could perhaps become just the sixth film in history to break the $2 billion barriers.
Even if it’s another illustration of Disney buying success instead of creating it into a more organic manner, Avatar 2 will be a huge triumph for the company and for the Sci-Fi movie franchises. This will indicate those previous failures no longer look so awful, and the future looks much better too. It will not have to hope it may turn around its fortunes so much because Avatar 2 should if all goes according to Disney’s plan, give it a much more ready-made Sci-Fi movie franchise it can package-up and sell within the Disney brand.
Avatar’s Sequels Should Be Successful (But Are More Of A Risk)
Of course, Disney didn’t only get Avatar two as it purchased Fox – it also got Avatars 4, 3, and 5, because Cameron is growing a lot of sequels. Disney has given all these films a launch date and, right now, is committed to ensuring all of them occur, which shows the religion they are placing in this to be one of its flagship franchises for another decade (and that may no doubt involve additional tie-ins, for example, Disney+ spin-off shows, should Avatar two be the hit it’s expected to be).
At the moment, the Avatar sequels seem like a reasonably safe bet, even though there is not much of a sure thing in Hollywood. Nevertheless, it’s also worth considering they are something of risk too. Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 are filming back-to-back, while a part of Avatar 4 has also reportedly been filmed, which doesn’t leave Disney a lot of wiggle room should things not pan out as they expect. As soon as it’s probably teaser two will see fans flock to the cinemas since it’ll be over a few years following the first film, there is much less guarantee of the translating to the sequels.
If Avatar 2 is bogged down by the same story and personality problems since the first, then there will not be the same heights of hype for the remainder. Obviously, inadequate quality hasn’t stopped Hollywood movies from making billions of dollars before, but it could leave Disney with a franchise that’s quickly fatigued if the first sequel is not something genuinely impressive. That said, once the upside is really large, it is also no doubt worth the risk.
Will Disney Be Able To Build On Avatar 2’S Success?
Although Avatar’s two and its many sequels will be a success and give Disney a brand new franchise to expand, there’s an even greater question of whether they could replicate such success along with other films, Sci-Fi, and differently. Avatar 2 will help fill in some of the cracks, but it isn’t completely overhauling the shaky foundations on which many franchise failures have been built. Disney will have to learn from and mimic whatever it gets appropriate (and indeed, wrong) to help grow its other films in a similar way.
The very evident upcoming movie this applies to will be TRON 3, which will star Jared Leto and look to get that franchise back on track. As a cult Sci-Fi film collection, then it drops right within the mount of the kind of film Disney has struggled to market previously, using its current problems dating back to TRON: Legacy. Avatar 2 can not guarantee victory for the next TRON film, but it could help show the studio in which it could go right with respect to approaching technology, story, and marketing. That can go for any upcoming Sci-Fi movies Disney decides to create. That should be seen as a more viable and rewarding option following Avatar two, allowing more creativity and more authentic, tougher Sci-Fi movies to be produced by the studio.
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