Considering how Avatar remains the second-highest-grossing movie of all time, it's no surprise the sequel, Avatar 2, has an enormous budget. However, quite how much money was being spent on the huge CGI follow-up has been a hot topic of conversation in Hollywood.
In a report detailing how movie productions in New Zealand are allowed to get up and running again following the easing of coronavirus lockdown measures in the country, Deadline (opens in new tab) claims that the Avatar sequels have a $1 billion budget. It's currently unclear whether that money has been spent on Avatar 3, 4, and 5 or just Avatar 2 and 3, which have been filmed back-to-back. For comparison, Avengers: Endgame (opens in new tab) and Infinity War (opens in new tab) – which were shot back-to-back – are rumoured to have cost upwards of $700 million between them, though this has not been confirmed.
Pre-production on Avatar 4 and 5 has reportedly begun, though Disney – who are releasing the movie after buying 20th Century Fox – are seemingly waiting to see whether 2 and 3 are a success before going full throttle into the franchise. Director James Cameron previously told Vanity Fair (opens in new tab): "Let's face it, if Avatar 2 and 3 don't make enough money, there's not going to be a 4 and 5."
All four movies have release dates: Avatar 2 on December 17, 2021; Avatar 3 in December 2023; Avatar 4 in December 2025; and Avatar 5 in December 2027.
The report also details how The Lord of the Rings TV show, which also has a rumoured budget of $500 million for multiple seasons, could resume filming in New Zealand. However, with the bulk of filming finished on the show's first two episodes, they are taking an already-planned break to analyse the best way forward with the series. Find out more about The Lord of the Rings TV show (opens in new tab) through that link.
Meanwhile, the first images from the set of Avatar 2 were revealed recently, teasing the movie's underwater setting. (opens in new tab)