Avatar: The Way of Water resulted in a massive payday for James Cameron. Thirteen years after the first film was released, which led to concern about whether Avatar was still culturally relevant, the long-awaited sequel debuted late last year and quickly dispelled any and all doubts. Avatar: The Way of Water broke numerous box office records on its way to becoming 2022’s highest-grossing movie worldwide, all but guaranteeing that multiple planned sequels will be made.
Now, a new Forbes report reveals that Avatar: The Way of Water resulted in “at least” a $95 million payday for Cameron, according to industry insiders. This is enough to land the director on the list of the highest-paid entertainers of the year, encompassing film, television, and music. Cameron ranks eighth on the list and is the only director in the top ten other than Tyler Perry, who is also an actor and studio mogul, and came in at third with $175 million made in the past year.
How James Cameron Made So Much Money From Avatar: The Way of Water
The main reason Cameron was able to make almost $100 million from Avatar: The Way of Water is because of a “back-end-heavy” deal with the studio that awards him with bonuses for crossing certain box office thresholds. With Avatar: The Way of Water sitting at $2.214 billion grossed worldwide to date, the sequel has passed numerous thresholds worked into the director’s deal, although there are likely many more to go considering the report specifies he’s made “at least” $95 million. Around the time of the original Avatar‘s release, it was reported that Cameron made $350 million from the original movie.
Due to Avatar: The Way of Water‘s smashing success at the box office, Cameron is now responsible for three of the top five highest-grossing movies of all time along with the original Avatar and Titanic. Avatar: The Way of Water is just the latest proof that one should never bet against Cameron. His ability to deliver blockbuster spectacles, along with the painstaking amount of time he invests in them, makes Cameron more than deserving of being on the list of the world’s highest-paid entertainers.
Cameron’s box office success and massive paydays should continue into Avatar 3 and its subsequent sequels. The third movie was shot simultaneously with Avatar: The Way of Water and is nearly finished filming ahead of its release date on December 20, 2024. Cameron has also even filmed parts of Avatar 4.
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