Disney+ (via What’s On Disney Plus) has removed James Cameron’s 2009 hit Avatar from the streaming platform’s catalog. Avatar, originally a Fox Studios production, came to Disney’s library after the latter acquired 21st Century Fox, a deal that was legally finalized in 2019. Avatar began to stream on Disney+ on the platform’s launch day and has since remained there for fans to watch. However, Disney+ has quietly removed the film from the platform; however, there is a solid reason for the move.
The decision to remove Avatar supports the film’s theatrical re-release scheduled for September. James Cameron and 20th Century Studios decided to give Avatar another re-release for the fans so they can re-watch the movie in a theatrical experience before the much-anticipated sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water, hit theaters this December. The whole idea is to get the audience, especially the ones who didn’t watch the first film the way it was meant to be (on high-res theatrical screen), a bonus revisit to the world of Pandora and the Na’vi.
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Avatar’s availability on Disney+ would have led the viewers to re-watch it on their home screens, leading to a decline in theatrical viewership. Moreover, owing to the comfort of watching from home, fans would surely have missed out on a grand opportunity to revisit Avatar in theaters, which is a far more surreal and a better approach to watching James Cameron’s technical genius.
Avatar will be re-released in theaters starting September 23. The film has been removed in the United States, but there is no news of such a thing happening in other territories. The first of the Avatar sequels, Avatar: The Way of Water, will release on December 16, 2022. The film stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Joel David Moore, Cliff Curtis, CCH Pounder, Giovanni Ribisi, Dileep Rao, Michelle Yeoh, Oona Chaplin, Kate Winslet, and Vin Diesel in pivotal roles.
Avatar Stands Strong at Global Box Office
Sourced via CNET
Even after more than a decade of release, Avatar is the world’s highest-grossing film of all time. The film, at the time, being the most expensive production, grossed $2.7B at the global box office.
The film was shortly surpassed by the 2019 Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Avengers: Endgame, but a Chinese market re-release of Avatar gave it back its top spot. However, when adjusted for inflation, the film still stands second after Gone With The Wind, whose total gross is above $3 Billion. For nearly a decade, James Cameron’s Avatar and Titanic held the first and the second spot on the global box-office returns.
Avatar’s current gross total is $2.84B. With this re-release, there is a possibility of a decent increase in the film’s box-office numbers as the excitement of the much-awaited sequel may act as a catalyst.
Avatar will be followed by four sequels, including Avatar: The Way of Water. The latter’s teaser has already offered us a glimpse of Cameron’s new technically superior achievement and his work on underwater production. The other sequels, tentatively titled, Avatar 3, Avatar 4, and Avatar 5 will release in 2024, 2026, and 2028, nearly two years apart.