‘Avatar’ Sequel Back in Theaters for Earth Day

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A Na'vi child swimming in 'Avatar: The Way of Water'

Credit: 20th Century Studios

Avatar: The Way of Water was the 2022 follow-up to 2009’s Avatar. The film became the third-highest-grossing film of all time and has officially set the Avatar universe into motion.

Production is already underway for the third installment in the franchise with talk of it being released as an extended series on Disney+. Disneyland has announced that the Park will see a Pandora expansion similar to Animal Kingdom’s, which the next film is rumored to have a connection with. With the amount of popularity the film seems to have received, it’s just been announced that The Way of Water will be rereleased in theaters in IMAX to celebrate Earth Day.

 

Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and his son in Avatar: The Way of Water
Credit: 20th Century Studios

This is a direct opposite move compared to recent releases like Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023) and The Flash (2023) getting an almost-immediate release to streaming. In response to the announcement, many fans are understandably confused, with several claiming it’s just a way for the film to make more money. The Super Mario Bros Movie saw record numbers during its recent opening weekend, making history as the biggest opening of a feature film adaptation of a video game. The animated film has only been out for a couple of weeks, and is still bringing in crowds, which leaves many to wonder how the film will hold up against the Avatar rerelease.

Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) and Jake (Sam Worthington) in 'Avatar: The Way of Water' (2022). Credit: Disney
Credit: Disney

Other fans are calling out the Earth Day promotion, stating that the film doesn’t even take place on Earth and wondering if any of the proceeds will go towards conservation efforts or an environmental focused organization. While the inclusion of Pandora at Animal Kingdom can be explained by the Park’s focus on nature and animals of all kinds, including fictional, releasing a film about aliens that takes place on an alien planet in order to celebrate Earth Day doesn’t make total sense.

Pandora World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom
Credit: Disney

It’s likely that the success of a rival production studio has spurred Disney and James Cameron to try and pull some attention and money back onto them, as many fans seem to hold this opinion. It’s a bold move to rerelease a film that’s barely even out of theaters back into theaters for an unrelated holiday. The film will be released on April 21, 2023, so fans will see how well the film does.

Will you go see Avatar: The Way of Water when it’s rereleased? Let Inside the Magic know your thoughts in the comments!

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