When will Avatar: The Way of Water be on Disney Plus?

December 15, 2022 (Last updated: 2 weeks ago)
KieranDavidBurt 0
Disney+, Film, News, Streaming Service

When will Avatar: The Way of Water be on Disney Plus? We discuss whether Avatar 2 will come onto Disney+ and when it’s likely to do so.

Avatar: The Way of Water, or known as Avatar 2, crashes into theatres in December, bringing what’s hoped to be a smash hit to a beleaguered box office. The film is already being praised for its technological innovations and visuals. This is a must-see film in cinemas.

But for people wishing to skip the theatrical experience and watch The Way of Water at home on Disney+, they might be waiting a while. The film is bound to wash up on Disney+ at some point, though it probably won’t be any time soon.

Is Avatar: The Way of Water going to be on Disney Plus?

As Avatar: The Way of Water is a movie solely owned by Disney, it will likely find its way onto Disney Plus at some point. The first Avatar is already on the service, so it would be surprising if its sequel didn’t join it.

But before it does join it, Disney will want to give the film a clear shot at making money.

When will Avatar: The Way of Water be on Disney Plus?

Disney hasn’t announced a date when Avatar: The Way of Water will be put on Disney Plus. There is a 45-day exclusivity period for films shown in cinemas, so the earliest the film could be streamed is Monday, 30 January, but this is incredibly unlikely.

Avatar 2 has a huge price tag attached to its production costs and marketing. The Hollywood Reporter claimed that the film’s production budget is somewhere between $350 million and $400 million dollars, and this is before marketing costs are added. If this is true, this would make it one of the most expensive films in Hollywood. Cinemas will also take some of the money The Way of Water makes at the box office, so the film will have a long way to go to be profitable. Disney won’t want to drop it on Disney+ too quickly, or else it won’t make its money back.

The studio will also want to give the film the room to make millions of dollars and over a billion, potentially two. This will mean keeping it off streaming for some time, giving it a clear run at that goal.

A final reason why Avatar 2 likely won’t head to streaming any time soon is that if it does become a runaway hit, like the first film or Top Gun: Maverick, Disney will want to let it play out and make money. Top Gun: Maverick released on May 27 (UK release date) and won’t be hitting Paramount+ until December 22, over 200 days later (209 days to be exact). It’s possible that The Way of Water might take that long to appear on Disney+. If it’s a hit in cinemas, it won’t be on streaming anytime soon.

What is James Cameron’s opinion of streaming?

James Cameron’s opinion of streaming also might factor into how long the film appears on Disney+, similar to Tom Cruise’s anti-streaming opinion being a reason for Maverick’s long wait for a streaming debut.

In an interview with The Indian Express, Cameron was asked if he was worried about releasing Avatar: The Way of Water 13 years after the original. While he expressed his confidence, he added “What does worry me is that the market has contracted due to the double punch of streaming and the pandemic, it’s slowly coming back… so can we be profitable in a changed market? … We’ll know in a few weeks, I guess.”

Disney will have likely reassured him that The Way of Water’s profits won’t be threatened by Disney+

Cameron has also commented on the film’s budget. In an interview with GQ Magazine in November, he was asked how expensive the film was. He didn’t give a hard number, but he said that in order for the film to be profitable, “you have to be the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history. That’s your threshold. That’s your break even.”

When compared with the numbers provided by The Hollywood Reporter, this seems like a bit of an exaggeration, but it does illustrate the point that The Way of Water won’t and can’t be a film that sticks around in the cinemas for 45 days. If it went to streaming this quickly, it would be likely that the film is a complete box office disaster.

A final point to consider is the type of movie The Way of Water is. The film is being celebrated for its jaw-dropping and immersive visuals by critics, and that will be a part of the magic of seeing it on a big screen. Just like Maverick, The Way of Water isn’t meant to be seen on a small screen, so it’s probable the film will stay off Disney+ for a while yet.

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