It’s no secret that the movie theater industry has been hit hard following the COVID-19 pandemic. With many theaters still awaiting full crowds to return, James Cameron is hoping that theaters as a whole will survive for the sake of the box office.
During a recent guest appearance on The Tonight Show, Cameron spoke about his hopes for the theater industry. While he understands the box office battles that films such as Avatar and the Marvel Cinematic Universe have, Cameron just hopes that theaters survive so that both can earn a ton in the box office.
“Everybody makes a big deal out of [the box office battle], but the truth is what we really need to focus on is getting back to theaters,” Cameron said (transcription via IndieWire’s Zack Sharf). “Hopefully, we can still have movies like that, ‘Endgame’ and ‘Avatar’ and the big Marvel movies and all that, movies that are able to make $1 billion or $2 billion.”
Cameron went on to say that he’s praying for theaters to remain a viable way to watch movies after the pandemic ends because of the sacred place they are to many. “Let’s pray that movie theaters are still there after this pandemic and after this shift towards streaming, not that I have anything against streaming. There’s great writing and great shows in [streaming], but let’s remember that movie theaters are a sacred experience for all of us. Let’s get back out there when it’s safe to do so.”
Cameron is currently working on the sequel to wildly successful and popular Avatar. Currently, Avatar 2 is set to release on December 16, 2022, after being pushed back a handful of times. Following that are three additional films, with Avatar 3 tentatively scheduled for December 22, 2023, and Avatar 4 is set for December 18, 2026. An additional sequel, Avatar 5, is only planned if Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 performs well enough at the box office.