Good information for James Cameron and large blue cat-people aficionados alike: The Way of Water, the Avatar sequel, has made greater than $1.7 billion and counting, paving the best way for these three extra sequels the director has had deliberate. For Cameron, it’s an indication that folks have had “enough with the streaming already!” But… have they?
Speaking to Variety final evening through the Golden Globes’ digital pre-show, Cameron mentioned he noticed The Way of Water’s success as a repudiation of streaming and a re-embrace of theatrical releases: “We’re going back to theaters around the world. They’re even going back to theaters in China where they’re having this big covid surge. We’re saying as a society, ‘We need this! We need to go to theaters.’ Enough with the streaming already! I’m tired of sitting on my ass.”
First of all, it appears James Cameron doesn’t truly know the way to watch a theatrical launch, as a result of folks have a tendency to take a seat down to observe motion pictures wherever they’re. Second, it’s value noting that The Way of Water is the sequel to actually the highest-grossing film of all time, and it’s presently solely accessible to see in theaters. Of course it’s doing nicely, however there’s no approach to know the way many individuals would have elected to remain house to observe it if that possibility had been accessible.
But I’m going to offer Cameron and the movie credit score right here. I imagine if Avatar: The Way of Water had been made accessible on, say, HBO Max the identical day it premiered in theaters, most individuals would nonetheless have left their houses to see it. Why? Well, 95 p.c of the draw of the Avatar motion pictures is their visible spectacle, which could be greatest skilled in theaters—however extra importantly, that visible spectacle is greatest loved in 3D, which, once more, is barely accessible exterior the house, except you’re one of many 29 individuals who purchased 3D TVs again in 2011 or so. (Also, James? The reality that folks in China are going to observe TWoW in theaters throughout a covid surge isn’t an excellent factor.)
Either approach, possibly a world the place big-time motion pictures get launched in theaters and/or house streaming providers is okay, and we don’t want to evaluate folks for preferring one or hold predicting the demise of 1 on the different’s palms. But we can decide Cameron for saying a bizarre gaffe that made it sound like he doesn’t know folks watch motion pictures sitting down.
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