‘Avatar 3’ Release Date Confirmed by James Cameron After Huge Delays

in Avatar, Disney

James Cameron speaking on the right side and Avatar Character on the left side with Avatar Logo

Credit: Inside the Magic

Visionary director James Cameron set the record straight.

Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) in Avatar
Credit: Disney

In 2009, the world of movies changed forever as James Cameron introduced the world to Avatar. While highly debated for its overall impact on pop culture and society in general, there’s no denying that the Avatar franchise will go down as one of the most important series of films in history thanks to its absolutely stunning visuals and James Cameron’s commitment to raising the bar for special effects.

Other franchises like Star Wars and Marvel would also set the bar high in these aspects, but a large part of Avatar’s success comes from how rarely we actually get to see it in theaters. With Star Wars and Marvel, fans are fed hundreds of hours of content in any given year, with at least two Marvel movies releasing a year and several MCU series premiering on Disney+. Star Wars is a different beast, with 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker being the last feature film to be seen in theaters. However, just like Marvel, Star Wars fans were treated to several shows on Disney+, like The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, Ahsoka, and Andor. 

Ahsoka next to Andor
Credit: Inside the Magic

Nearly 13 years after the original film, James Cameron brought audiences back to the jaw-dropping world of Pandora. Avatar: The Way of Water (2022) features an all-star cast consisting of Kate Winslet, Zoe Saldaña, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Edie Falco, and Jemaine Clement and was another smash success for Cameron and The Walt Disney Company, who now owns Avatar thanks to its purchase of 20th Century Studios.

Disney has essentially gone all in on Avatar as a whole, fully supporting the movies and bringing the film to life at its theme parks.

On January 22, 2023, Avatar: The Way of Water officially crossed $2 billion in global ticket salesIt is the sixth film ever to do so and the first film to cross the mark in “pandemic times.” This success solidified the Avatar brand as not just a box office fluke but a consistent moneymaker that brings in millions of fans around the world.

James Cameron looking sullen at 2016 San Diego Comic-Con
Credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

The other films in the “top 6” include the original Avatar, Avengers: Endgame, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Avengers: Infinity War, and Titanic. Keen eyes will notice that a large portion of the list is comprised of Disney films, with James Cameron landing spots on the list multiple times as well. This is James Cameron’s third film to cross $2 billion globally. For years, Cameron has been revered for his craft and skill when it comes to movie-making, with GQ even calling him a “box office king.”

Initially, the film was coming in under box office predictions. Of course, the original 2009 Avatar film started slow and became a household name. But the future of the Avatar franchise was a little shaky from the start. Even James Cameron wasn’t sure of how successful the new film would be, calling Avatar: The Way of Water “the worst business case in movie history.”

“The market could be telling us we’re done in three months, or we might be semi-done, meaning: ‘OK, let’s complete the story within movie three, and not go on endlessly,’ if it’s just not profitable,” Cameron said in an interview.

“We’re into a very hectic two years of post-production right now,” Cameron confirmed when asked about the third “Avatar” movie. “So it will be Christmas of 2025.”

Things were looking to be quite on track for Avatar until earlier this year when all three of the upcoming sequels got delayed.

Still from 'Avatar: The Way of Water' teasing the possibilities for an 'Avatar'- inspired expansion at Disneyland Resort
Credit: 20th Century Studios

These delays were a big hit, especially for fans of the series. To think that the Avatar series of films will end a whopping 22 years after the original was released in theaters is equally mind-blowing as it is sad. James Cameron began development on the original Avatar in New Zealand back in 2005, meaning this journey will have lasted 26 years.

“Great! I’m gonna be 53 when the last ‘Avatar’ comes out,” Zoe Saldaña joked in an Instagram post after the delays were announced. “I was 27 when I shot the very first ‘Avatar.’”

Zoe Saldaña was able to launch into a very successful career after the original Avatar, starring as Gamora in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy films. Zoe Saldaña is the first actor to star in four different films that broke $2 billion mark at the box office. The films that helped her break this record are Avatar: The Way of Water (2023),  Avatar (2009), Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019). Saldaña’s latest film, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023), came close to hitting the billion-dollar mark once again, proving Marvell’s loveable crew of misfits remains one of the most popular groups of characters for the brand.

James Gunn sits with the Guardians
Credit: @JamesGunn via Twitter

Despite these delays, the release date of Avatar 3 has been essentially confirmed once again by James Cameron himself. The next installments in the Avatar universe will be released in December 2024, 2026, and 2028. As reported by Variety, James Cameron, along with the cast and crew of Avatar 3, are all expecting a late 2025 release date. Cameron stated that Avatar 3 is in a “Very Hectic Two Years of Post-Production Right Now.”

Now, here is the new updated Disney release schedule for Avatar 3 and Avatar 4:

  • Avatar 3: currently slated to be released December 19, 2025
  • Avatar 4: now slated for December 21, 2029
  • Avatar 5: now slated for December 19, 2031

We’re incredibly excited to see where the future of Avatar takes us, and if Avatar: The Way of Water is any indication, we will certainly be showing up at midnight for the premier of the next three movies. Cameron stated that he plans to only shoot in New Zealand from now on.

Legendary Walt Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde at Pandora — The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: D23

As we stated earlier, Disney is all-in on the Avatar brand. Currently, guests can enter the world of Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which is a breathtaking land filled with stunning locations and incredible scenery. The land is called Pandora – The World of Avatar, and you truly feel as though you have been transported directly into the films. The land features two attractions, Na’vi River Journey and Avatar Flight of Passage, both of which are incredible and show off the skill and craftsmanship of Walt Disney Imagineering.

The fun doesn’t stop here, however, with Disney announcing its plans to bring the Avatar franchise over to the West Coast as well. These plans were revealed earlier in 2023 by Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger and sent quite a shock throughout the Disney Park community. At the time of publishing this article, no concrete details have been discussed regarding this expansion, with Disney describing it as an Avatar “experience.” While we’re doubtful that it will live up to the jaw-dropping Pandora – The World of Avatar land at Walt Disney World, we’re excited to see Disney so gung-ho about expanding the Avatar brand in its theme parks.

Disney is currently developing a brand-new Avatar “experience” at the Disneyland Resort. This was announced by Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger himself, who reiterated how important the Avatar franchise is to the company. While, we definitely don’t expect this to be the same level as Pandora – The World of Avatar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we’re super excited that Disney’s plans with the Avatar series are only just beginning.

Are you excited for Avatar 3? 

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