The 68-year-old Canadian filmmaker earned the distinction following the massive success of his latest project, “Avatar: The Way of Water.” The sequel to his initial “Avatar” blockbuster surpassed $2 billion in global box office sales six weeks after its December 2021 release. It had a production budget between $350 and $460 million, according to The Daily Mail.
Previously, Cameron’s other films “Avatar” (2009) and “Titanic” (1997) also earned more than $2 billion worldwide.
In the larger world of film, surpassing $2 billion in revenue doesn’t happen often. Other films that made that kind of money include “Avengers: Endgame” (2019), which earned just under $2.8 billion on a budget of $356-400 million, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) which earned $2 billion with a budget of $306 million, and “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018), which also earned $2 billion on a budget of $325-$400 million.
Cameron said the “Avatar” franchise would continue if enough people bought tickets for “The Way of Water.” The director explained that scenes for the third and fourth installments were already shot to avoid continuity issues related to child actors looking too grown up.
“Otherwise, you get — and I love ‘Stranger Things’ — but you get the ‘Stranger Things’ effect where they’re supposed to still be in high school [but] they look like they’re 27,” Cameron told Entertainment Weekly, as The Daily Wire reported. “You know, I love the show. It’s OK, we’ll suspend disbelief. We like the characters, but, you know.”
During another interview, Cameron said he wasn’t even sure “The Way of Water” would cause a splash at the box office like the first “Avatar” did. Since so much time had passed between the original and the sequel, the Canadian filmmaker knew the whole thing was a gamble.
“There’s skepticism in the marketplace. Can anybody even remember the characters’ names? We’ll see what happens after this film,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in November.
Now that gamble is paying off in a big way. Cameron seems committed to making the next movies in the series, as he revealed on HBO Max’s “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?” this month.
“It looks like with the momentum that the film has now that we’ll easily pass our break even in the next few days, so it looks like I can’t wiggle out of this and I’m gonna have to do these other sequels,” he said. “I know what I’m going to be doing the next six or seven years.”