James Cameron says ‘Avatar’ sequel must become one of the biggest movies in history “just to break even”

20th Century Studios

(NOTE LANGUAGE) Advance tickets for the sequel Avatar: The Way of Water are now on sale, and James Cameron — or, more accurately, Disney-owned 20th Century Studios — certainly hopes you buy some.

To GQ, Cameron explained the long-in-development sequel to the 2009 original — the highest-grossing movie of all time — has a, pardon pun, high water mark to hit to make its money back.

When asked how expensive the movie was to make, Cameron claimed, “Very f***ing.”

The Titanic Oscar winner then elaborated, “You have to be the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history. That’s your threshold. That’s your break even.” He also referred to the movie, which is the first of four planned sequels, “the worst business case in movie history” in terms of risk over reward.

That said, Cameron is never anything if not confident, speaking on the movie’s bleeding-edge computer graphics and other cinema tech. “I’m attracted by difficult. Difficult is a f***ing magnet for me. I go straight to difficult,” he says. “And I think it probably goes back to this idea that there are lots of smart, really gifted, really talented filmmakers out there that just can’t do the difficult stuff. So that gives me a tactical edge to do something nobody else has ever seen, because the really gifted people don’t f***ing want to do it.”

To see what “difficult” looks like, check out exclusive interviews with the cast of The Way of Water on Fandango, which polled its moviegoers and found — happily for Cameron, no doubt — that Gen Z-aged moviegoers called the December 16 release their most anticipated film of the year.

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