Has Star Wars: Episode VIII scared the box office king out of town?
For the past four years, James Cameron has been promising us that an Avatar sequel would be on the way, only to pull the rug out from us time and time again. And look, we get it; a sequel to the most successful movie of all time doesn't exactly come overnight, but to loosely quote Abraham Lincoln, "If you're going to promise us pancakes, then there better be some damn pancakes!"
(Confession: I have no idea whether Lincoln ever said that and am on my fifth scotch of the day)
Most recently, rumors began to circulate (via Cameron himself) that Avatar 2 would be hitting theaters in Christmas 2017 to meet Episode XIII in an all-out battle for cinematic superiority. We were essentially going to be treated to the box office equivalent of Rocky vs. Ivan Drago, but now, it appears that the hyperbolic scenario depicted above will sadly not be happening.
According to Slash Film, not only will Avatar 2 *not* be meeting its projected release date in December of 2017, but has in fact been delayed indefinitely.
There was already speculation that Avatar 2 wasn't going to meet the estimated release when Star Wars: Episode VIII moved to December 15th, 2017, a full seven months after the previously planned May 2017 release date. Disney clearly knew they weren't going to have any major competition at the box office and also wanted that Christmas money for their merchandise release. Plus, there's no way Disney would willingly take on Avatar 2 with the chance of having a smaller IMAX screen count, especially when there's an Avatar installment planned for their theme parks.
Once again, it all comes down to toys.
The question now becomes: Has it already been too long for the general public to get excited about an Avatar sequel? The first movie became the success it was thanks in a big way to its innovative special effects, which back in 2009, more or less defined the "IMAX experience" (it sure as hell wasn't the knock-off Fern Gully storyline, in any case). The technology has caught up in the time since, for the most part, and with Marvel, DC, and Star Wars features set to dominate cinemas for the foreseeable future, you have to wonder whether or not Avatar 2 missed its window to be anything close to the success of its predecessor.
Time will tell, and if there's one thing that Avatar 2 has got going for it, it's time.
Source: Slash Film