James Cameron is ready to end at Avatar 3 if the sequels flop
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James Cameron has said he might be willing to call time on the Avatar franchise after the third movie if audiences don't take to the sequels.
It's been quite a while since the first Avatar movie smashed box office records and dazzled audiences with an incredible 3D visual spectacle.
That's just the thing, it's been quite a while, so with a sequel on the way it's hard to gauge whether people are going to be packing out the cinemas for a follow-up to a movie first released in 2009.
The next movie Avatar: The Way of Water is set to release later this year on 16 December.
Then there's three more sequels in the works to be released in 2024, 2026 and 2028, with chunks of the later movies already being filmed, but planning that far ahead in showbusiness is not without risks.
James Cameron has appeared to acknowledge those risks in an upcoming issue of Total Film magazine, suggesting he might pull the plug on the franchise at Avatar 3 if people aren't flocking to see them.
He said: "The market could be telling us we're done in three months, or we might be semi-done, meaning 'okay, let's complete the story within movie three, and not go on endlessly', if it's just not profitable.
"We're in a different world now than we were when I wrote this stuff, even. It's the one-two punch - the pandemic and streaming.
"Or, conversely, maybe we'll remind people what going to the theatre is all about. This film definitely does that. The question is: how many people give a s**t now?"
It's a big question and one we won't really know the answer to until the first of four sequels releases in cinemas on 16 December, and even then there's a risk of diminishing returns if audiences don't like what they see.
Even if people do go to watch the films Cameron himself might be shifting out of the directors chair for the fourth and fifth movies.
It's a huge gamble he's taking, hoping audiences will file into their seats for a franchise which hasn't had a movie since 2009, but Cameron has given it his all.
The second Avatar movie has been described as 'the most insanely complicated movie ever made', with so much technology and effort going into bringing the world of Pandora to life.
However, people watching the trailers have complained that they still can't figure out what the movie is meant to be about.
That isn't the most encouraging sign considering it's supposed to have an utterly gargantuan runtime of 190 minutes, meaning you'll be stuck in your seats for over three hours.
Probably best to make sure you pop to the loo before the movie starts.