While the potential death of the theatrical experience seems to be sitting like a black cloud on the horizon for some film fans, one who has a more optimistic outlook is filmmaker James Cameron.
Cameron’s “Titanic” and “Avatar” have held the top spot on the box office charts for more than twenty years, his work only finally defeated this year by Disney’s mega-event “Avengers: Endgame”. Cameron isn’t bothered by that ‘defeat’, in fact he tells Deadline it is a welcome sign that his upcoming “Avatar” sequels will be an event that will draw people back to cinemas:
“It gives me a lot of hope. Avengers: Endgame is demonstrable proof that people will still go to movie theaters. The thing that scared me most about making Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 was that the market might have shifted so much that it simply was no longer possible to get people that excited about going and sitting in a dark room with a bunch of strangers to watch something. Will Avatar 2 and 3 be able to create that kind of success in the zeitgeist? Who knows. We’re trying. Maybe we do, maybe we don’t, but the point is, it’s still possible.”
Cameron is very much a fan of the theatrical experience and seeing a movie as big as possible, but he won’t rule out creating something for a streaming service in the future:
“I’m just glad it still exists because I’m all about the big screen. Not that I wouldn’t do something for streaming where you can get into the characters in a different way but what I love the most to do is to create that completely kind of subsuming experience where you turn off your phone and you engage. You as an audience member engage for two hours or two and a half hours, whatever it is. And that still exists!.”
“Avatar 2” hits cinemas December 17th 2021, followed by “Avatar 3” on December 22nd 2023.