No single film can save theaters, but the new “Avatar” sequel won’t hurt

A big part of James Cameron’s new avatar The sequel takes place underwater. And that’s exactly where the theater owners are right now: buried under massive debt, with audience numbers plummeting.

No single film can reverse the collapsing fate of exhibitors, whose long-term prospects remain about as palatable as stale popcorn. but Avatar: The Way of Waterwhich launches this weekend could at least save the fourth quarter for theater owners who have been desperate for a hit ever since Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opened a month and a half ago.

Cash forecasters appreciate that avatar could gross up to $175 million this coming weekend, and a total of $500 million worldwide over the three days. The sequel grossed a whopping $17 million in Thursday previews.

Given that it’s not a superhero film – there aren’t any Marvel or DC characters to be found – such a strong opening would be especially important. But the sequel has box office history on its side: The Original avatarreleased in 2009, remains the highest-grossing film of all time with worldwide grossing US$2.9 billion (2019). Avengers: Endgame second at $2.8 billion.)

However avatar in the end, it will not change the inescapable fact that cinemas will never be what they once were.

The pandemic did not create the fundamental problem of the theater model, but rather exposed it: it had not changed for more than a century. If you wanted to see a film on the multiplex, you could only choose from a handful of titles that were running at a specific time and place.

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Streaming has none of these limitations. Now that the major studios are releasing fewer films in theaters and such films are tumbling onto their streaming platforms, audiences have been enlightened: don’t leave your house.

That means there’s no way to wait to watch Avatar: The Way of Water on Disney+ can match the experience of seeing (and hearing) the film on a big screen, ideally in 3D.

I’ve seen what it’s worth Avatar: The Way of Water. So if you feel safe among strangers, go to the multiplex: if there’s a movie worth getting out of the house for, it might be this one.

What questions do you have about film, television, music or arts and entertainment?

John Horn, entertainment reporter and host of our weekly podcast Retake, examines whether the stories Hollywood tells about itself really reflect what’s going on?

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