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James Cameron confirms next projects; Avatar 2 and 3

Good news finally came today in the form of 20th Century Fox officially announcing that James Cameron’s next directorial project will be Avatar 2 and Avatar 3, with plans to release the two in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

Previously, Cameron has noted that an Avatar sequel would focus heavily on the oceans of Pandora, which seems logical considering Cameron’s love of the ocean. “In the second and third films, which will be self-contained stories that also fulfill a greater story arc, we will not back off the throttle of ‘Avatar’s’ visual and emotional horsepower, and will continue to explore its themes and characters, which touched the hearts of audiences in all cultures around the world,” Cameron said. “I’m looking forward to returning to Pandora, a world where our imaginations can run wild.”

“Avatar 2” and “Avatar 3” will be produced by Cameron and his partner Jon Landau for Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment. Lightstorm partner Rae Sanchini negotiated the deal on behalf of the company.

Avatar Sequel Details

Image: STEPH/Visual/ZUMA Press
On the eve of its first (of many) DVD releases, we finally have some concrete information with regards to where James Cameron plans to take his Avatar sequel. Not surprisingly – considering Cameron’s love for all things underwater – it appears as if Avatar 2 will concentrate on the oceans of Pandora. In a question about the challenges of his next project, Cameron revealed to the LA Times a little more about the ground (or should I say, water) he’d love to cover in the sequel.

Says Cameron, “Part of my focus in the second film is in creating a different environment – a different setting within Pandora. And I’m going to be focusing on the ocean on Pandora, which will be equally rich and diverse and crazy and imaginative, but it just won’t be a rain forest. I’m not saying we won’t see what we’ve already seen; we’ll see more of that as well.”

He said: “We created a broad canvas for the environment of film. That’s not just on Pandora, but throughout the Alpha Centauri AB system.

“And we expand out across that system and incorporate more into the story – not necessarily in the second film, but more toward a third film.”

He said: “The challenge will be on the next Avatar picture, which is to do what we did before at half the price and in half the time.

“Again, that’s an impossible goal, we won’t accomplish that, but if we can reduce by 25 per cent in both categories, we’ll have really accomplished something. We know our methodology works.”

Box Office Numbers for Christmas Weekend

Avatar Teaser Poster
To be expected, Avatar is number one this weekend in the box office.

In 1994, director James Cameron wrote a 114-page scriptment for Avatar. Avatar is centered around the themes of imperialism and biodiversity. Cameron has said that Avatar shares themes with At Play in the Fields of the Lord, and The Emerald Forest, which feature clashes between cultures and civilizations, and acknowledged the film’s connection with Dances With Wolves, where a battered soldier finds himself drawn to the tribal culture he was initially fighting against.

Cameron said he felt the pressure of the predictions, but that pressure is good for film-makers. “It makes us think about our audiences and what the audience wants,” he stated. “We owe them a good time. We owe them a piece of good entertainment.” Cameron did not want to preach to the audience, but rather “bring them in” and make sure they have a good time.

The twelve estimated top producing motion pictures for the weekend, per data collected as of Sunday, December 27, 2009 include:

                                          Weekend
  Rank   Title          Distributor       Gross       Cume         Locations
  ----   -----          -----------       -------     ----         ---------
  1      Avatar         20th Century Fox  75,000,000  212,268,053  3456
         ------         ----------------  ----------  -----------  ----
  2      Sherlock
         Holmes         Warner Bros.      65,380,000   65,380,000  3626
         --------       ------------      ----------   ----------  ----
  3      Alvin And The
         Chipmunks: The
         Squeakquel     20th Century Fox  50,200,000   77,051,277  3700
         -------------- -------------     ----------   ----------  ----
  4      It's
         Complicated    Universal         22,114,420   22,114,420  2886
         -----------    ---------         ----------   ----------  ----
  5      Up In The Air  Paramount         11,755,000   24,518,000  1895
         -------------  ---------         ----------   ----------  ----
  6      Blind Side,
         The            Warner Bros.      11,730,000  184,387,000  2766
         -----------    ------------      ----------  -----------  ----
  7      The Princess
         and the Frog   Disney             8,683,000   63,357,000  3475
         ------------   ------             ---------   ----------  ----
  8      Nine           The Weinstein
                        Company            5,544,000    5,922,000  1412
         ----------     -------------      ---------    ---------  ----
  9      Did You Hear
         About The
         Morgans?       Sony               5,000,000   15,597,000  2718
         ------------   ----               ---------   ----------  ----
  10     Invictus       Warner Bros.       4,390,000   23,365,000  2160
         --------       ------------       ---------   ----------  ----

  11     The Twilight   Summit
         Saga: New Moon Entertainment      3,000,000  280,923,522  1593
         -------------- -------------      ---------  -----------  ----
  12     Disney's A
         Christmas
         Carol          Disney             1,356,000  135,952,000  1245
         ----------     ------             ---------  -----------  ----

  Weekend of 12/25/09 to 12/27/09


Source: Rentrak Corporation