Since its release in 2009, James Cameron’s Avatar has held the all-time box office record for nearly a decade.
With a budget of $300 million and an additional $150 million for marketing, Avatar’s total cost of $450 million was made back several times. The big revenue came from the international box office, to the tune of about $2.8 billion ($3.3 billion in 2019 dollars).
Avatar was the first movie to break the $2 billion mark when not adjusting for inflation. In the process, it became the highest-grossing film of all time in dozens of countries, as well as globally.
Its domestic North American box office record of $760 million ($900 million adjusted) would stand until 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens took over.
Though more successful in North America, The Force Awakens would ultimately fall short of Avatar’s international sales, earning just shy of $2.1 billion ($2.2 billion adjusted).
Avatar 2 and 3 are both currently in filming, and are expected in December 2021 and 2023, respectively.
And they’ll have monster expectations to match the bar set by their predecessor.
But that bar might be moving before they can make it to the start line…