Avatar 2 flops at the box office


Gabriel Thornton, Entertainment Editor

   Audience opinions of Avatar: the way of water seem to be very polarized. The reviews were either very positive or very critical of the sequel, no in-between. James Cameron has not been very transparent about the actual cost of production for Avatar 2, but the break-even point was set at 2 billion dollars. It grossed about 450 million domestically at the box office and around 1.19 billion internationally, so it still has a way to go.  

   Avatar: The Way of Water follows Jake Sully (played by Sam Worthington) and his family as they flee the forest people to join a new tribe of Na’vi that live on the water. The children struggle to fit in because the are physically different due to being forest dwelling Na’vi, their tails are thinner and their hands aren’t webbed. The other Water tribe children bully them for it in the beginning of the movie but they set aside their differences when danger arises. The Colonel Miles Quaritch (played by Stephen Lang) has returned as a cloned avatar and is hunting down James Sully. His strategy to draw him out is to hunt down the Tulkun, which are similar to whales on earth. The water dwelling Na’vi have a special bond with these whales and when they are hunted down, they decide to fight back to protect them. This of course is what the Colonel wanted, as it draws Sully out and an epic battle ensues which takes up the final third of the movie. 

   Some criticisms of the film are that of the “white savior” trope. While James Sully has fully embraced his avatar and is no longer truly human, he is still canonically a “white man.” Many people find this trope offensive because it promotes the idea that the native people are not capable of defending themselves and have to rely on the white man to save them. Personally, I think that the “outrage” is unwarranted because it is a movie about blue aliens that fight off the humans very capably and James Sully is similarly a very capable warrior who has a different insight into how humans think and fight.  

   The visual effects in Avatar 2 were groundbreaking, as animating water is one of the hardest things to realistically simulate. Weta Digital was the studio that oversaw the CG and out of the 3’240 scenes that involved any digital effects, 2’225 involved water simulation. There were only two scenes that had no visual effects at all.  

   Despite the criticism of Avatar: The Way of Water, the entertainment value makes it well worth the watch.