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Is ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Available to Stream? When Will it Come to Disney+?

David Satin

James Cameron has returned to the director’s chair for the first time in 13 years for “Avatar: The Way of Water.” The sequel to 2009’s “Avatar” is coming to theaters on Friday, Dec. 16, and despite how long it’s been since the first movie came out, the sequel is generating significant buzz.

Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, “Avatar: The Way of Water” begins to tell the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their children), the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to in order to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure.

Check out the Trailer for ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’:

Early reviews are once again showering praise on the new movie’s stunning visuals, and highlighting the changes Cameron made to elements of the first movie that didn’t really work. The first “Avatar” took in nearly $3 billion at the global box office, and while the movie business has changed dramatically in the past 13 years, all signs point to the sequel being another massive hit. Given that the film could be a gigantic hit, Disney+ users might see a bit of a wait before it’s available to stream.

Typically, Disney follows a pattern of keeping films in theaters for 45-70 days before releasing them to its streaming service. Marvel’s “Eternals” hit theaters on Nov. 5, 2021 and landed on Disney+ on Jan. 12, 2022 — 68 days later. Similarly, the Marvel film that immediately preceded “Eternals” was “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” and it arrived on streaming after a 70-day window. The studio’s most recent release “Thor: Love and Thunder” got 62 days in theaters before making its streaming debut on Disney+ Day on Sept. 8 this year.

“Avatar: The Way of Water” is, of course, not a Marvel film, but it is similar to Marvel movies in that it’s a visual-effects-driven epic. But none of the Marvel films, despite their worldwide power, came close to the box office potential that the new “Avatar” film has, and that potential could keep the movie in theaters for much longer than 70 days.

In May, The Streamable predicted that the film would get a 90-day theatrical window before moving to streaming in March of 2023. But if the sequel performs to the level of the first “Avatar” movie, it could see a “Top Gun: Maverick”-style theatrical window. That film will have had a theatrical run of nearly seven months by the time it hits Paramount+ on Dec. 22, and has generated nearly $1.5 billion at the box office.

If “Avatar: The Way of Water” lives up to the pre-release hype it has been generating, it is reasonable to think that Disney will give it every opportunity to generate revenue in theaters. Given that fact, our new prediction is that the film will get a similar theatrical window to “Top Gun: Maverick,” and come to streaming in six months. That would put its arrival date on Disney+ in mid-June of 2023.

The good news is, there’s more to watch on Disney+ while you wait, including the first “Avatar” film. Disney removed the original movie from its streaming service in September so that it could be re-released in theaters to build excitement for the sequel. Happily, it is now back on Disney+, ensuring it will be fresh in audiences’ minds as they head to the cinema to see “Avatar: The Way of Water.”


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