Over at Forbes.com, entertainment business beatwriter, Scott Mendelson stated/asked aloud about 2019: “[T]he Mouse House is throwing out all of its biggest movies in a single year. But what happens in 2020 and beyond?”
He/I actually paraphrased that question in more stark — pun intended — terms: “[Can Disney] remain on top after Poe Dameron and Steve Rogers ride off into the sunset?”
Mendelson’s answer? Avatar.
James Cameron’s first Avatar sequel will open on December 20, 2020, 11 years after the first Avatar become (by far) the biggest grossing movie of all time with a $2.78 billion global gross. Say what you will about how North Americans talk (or don’t talk) about Avatar today, it’s still a movie that earned over $2b overseas.
It’s entirely possible that overseas audiences will react to Avatar 2 in a manner similar to how North Americans reacted to The Force Awakens (which arrived ten years after Revenge of the Sith). If that sounds bullish, then even a downturn comparable to The Last Jedi, Batman Returns, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and The Lost World would still give the 20th Century Fox release $495 million domestic and $1.37b overseas (about on par with Infinity War) for around $1.865b worldwide (about what Titanic earned, sans inflation, during its original 1997/1998 theatrical run). Avatar 2 could (inflation aside) gross 28% less than Avatar and still pull $2b worldwide.
Moreover, marketing and promoting Avatar 2 is now Disney’s responsibility. You can be sure that it’ll spend the next 1.5 years reminding folks how much they liked that first film before it became uncool. Disney will use the parks, its merchandise
I’m sitting here
Here’s the gospel truth: I have never seen Avatar. So, when I do go to Walt Disney World, Pandora is more spectacle than substance. And the idea that Avatar could hold the fort just knocked me back on my heels.
Could it actually do that? I guess we’ll know on December 20, 2020.
But what about you? Do you think that Avatar could mind the gap for Disney between any Avengers and Star Wars movies for Disney?
Let us know in the comments below…