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Avatar Sequel Must Earn $2 Billion To Break Even

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New movie %AvatarTheWayofWater a sequel to the hit 2009 film, must earn $2 billion U.S. at the global box office just to break even, according to industry forecasts.

The highly anticipated sci-fi movie is scheduled to be released worldwide on December 16 and is being billed as the most expensive movie ever made.

In media interviews to promote the movie, director James Cameron has acknowledged the expense, telling %GQMagazine that the Avatar sequel represents “the worst business case in movie history.”

Much of the exorbitant expense is due to the cutting edge three-dimensional (3D) technology used in the film. The question box office analysts are trying to answer is whether audiences will pay extra for what is being advertised as an “immersive 3D film experience.’

When the first “Avatar” film debuted 13 years ago, moviegoers filled theaters to see a big budget 3D movie. It’s unclear if that will happen this time around.

Critics say that the heyday of 3D movies has passed and that recent movies released using the 3D technology format have performed poorly with audiences.

The first “Avatar” film grossed $2.74 billion U.S. worldwide, making it the highest grossing movie of all time. The upcoming sequel will need to surpass the original’s ticket receipts to turn a profit for %WaltDisney ($DIS), which produced the film.

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