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It used to be that if a film was going to get a sequel, that sequel would happen soon after the original. No matter how successful the movie, if a follow-up hadn’t at least gone into production within a couple of years, it probably wasn’t going to happen.

Obviously, that is no longer the case. We’re seeing more and more of these legacy-quels, sequels landing a decade or more after the original. As the mainstream movie landscape shifted, the value of IP increased dramatically.

All that said, it’s tough to know exactly how to categorize “Avatar: The Way of Water,” the new film from director James Cameron. This new film comes out some 13 years after its predecessor (a film that, in case you’ve forgotten, remains the highest-grossing film of all time), but Cameron was TALKING about the sequel(s) even before the first film made well over $2 billion worldwide.

Still, “Avatar” was kind of old news, a movie that never really made a lasting pop cultural impact despite its massive commercial success, so it feels a little weird that we’re getting a sequel now, so long after the fact. Of course, this is James Cameron we’re talking about, who has demonstrated not just a mastery of blockbuster filmmaking, but of blockbuster sequel filmmaking – this is the dude who made “Aliens” and “Terminator 2,” after all. Bet against him at your peril.

And all things considered? “Avatar: The Way of Water” has the makings of yet another winning bet.

Published in Movies

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