The Way of Water’ gets a coveted release in China

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The Way of Water' gets a coveted release in China
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Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, “Avatar: The Way of the Water” tells the story of the Sully family.

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by Disney “Avatar: The Way of the Water” landed a coveted release in China, a promising sign for a movie that needs big box office sales to make up for its massive budget.

The long-awaited sequel to 2009’s “Avatar” is one of the few Hollywood films to be allowed into the Chinese market in recent months. Government officials in the region, which began tightening restrictions on Western films even before the pandemic, have been strict about what films can be screened for its entertainment-hungry audience.

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The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal and posted on 20th Century Studios’ official Weibo account.

Director James Cameron hasn’t put a price tag on ‘The Way of Water’, but estimates suggest it tops $250 million. The writer and director told GQ magazine that the sequel’s budget is so high that the film will have to become the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history to break even. This means the film will have to cross the $2 billion mark worldwide.

International ticket sales, in general, were a major factor in “Avatar’s” box office success in 2009, as $2.13 billion of the film’s $2.91 billion in ticket sales came from outside the internal market. China contributed about $265 million.

Before the pandemic, China was the second most profitable theatrical market in the world. Since the reopening of cinemas in the country, it has been one of the fastest markets to recover and generate box office success.

In 2009, the Chinese box office reached $910 million. A decade later, its box office exceeded $8 billion.

Perhaps most important about this release is that it will take place on December 16, the same day as his domestic debut. Disney found success with this strategy when it released “Avengers: Endgame” on the same day in the United States and China, leading to the highest-grossing global opening weekend in movie history.

“Avatar” was a big hit in China when it was initially released and then re-released in early 2021, as audiences flocked to cinemas to see the film in premium formats. These projections are more expensive than traditional laser or digital projections and can increase overall ticket sales.

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