James Cameron’s unbelievable box office success has been consistent for nearly 30 years, but Avatar 3 will be the true test for his amazing streak of $2 billion mega-hits. James Cameron has only directed 10 movies since his cinematic debut in 1978, but almost every release has been a sizable box office success, regardless of genre. Beginning with The Terminator in 1984, Cameron also established himself as a master in the realm of science fiction, and those strengths have culminated with his epic, currently-in-progress Avatar movie series.

The 2009 Avatar movie is still the highest-grossing film of all time – albeit with re-releases included – and broke new ground in terms of filming technology and techniques. Its sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water, released a whole 13 years later, but that extended gap was not enough to slow Cameron’s box office domination. With three more Avatar sequels already in the works, James Cameron’s upcoming Avatar 3 will help to answer the burning question of how long the director can maintain his current level of box office prosperity.

James Cameron already had a history of critical and commercial successes before his $2 billion streak began 29 years ago. The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day were all highly profitable, and enjoyed acclaim from critics and fans alike. With the 1997 release of Titanic, however, Cameron began a streak of producing movies that ultimately grossed over $2 billion at the box office. Titanic grossed over $2.2 billion worldwide, and vaulted Cameron into the upper echelons of directors whose sheer involvement with a movie is enough to break the box office.

From there, James Cameron turned his attention toward Avatar, which he first began to develop in 1994. 12 years after Titanic, Avatar released with one of the biggest box office openings of all time, and has since grossed over $2.9 billion. After another 13-year break for filming and development, Avatar: The Way of Water went on to surpass Titanic, and currently sits at $2.32 billion worldwide gross. Those movies make up three of the top four highest-grossing movies of all time, with only Avengers: Endgame breaking up the set. Despite the long gaps between Cameron’s movies, that is an outrageous accolade for any single director.

Due to the 2023 Hollywood strikes, Avatar 3 has been delayed until 2025, which puts its release two years after Avatar: The Way of Water, as opposed to its original 2024 release date. With interest in the Avatar series renewed after a long layoff, it seems Avatar 3 stands a strong chance of continuing Cameron’s $2 billion streak, especially considering the director’s use of ever-evolving filming technology, and the continuation of the cohesive story being told across the Avatar series. The ever-expanding world and cast of characters in the franchise ensures that each movie will be unique, and avoid the pitfalls that typically come with franchise sequels.

The key factor in the Avatar franchise’s box office success is the fact that both movies were treated as major events or experiences. Cameron’s world-building, along with the state-of-the-art special effects involved, transform each Avatar release into much more than a simple movie. While Avatar‘s mark of $2.9 billion might be unrealistic, the hype that innately surrounds any James Cameron movie should be enough to carry Avatar 3 into the stratosphere of box office earners, just like its two predecessors.

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