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Theater listings claim that Disney’s Avatar: The Way of Water’s runtime is longer than previously reported.
In discussions concerning the ongoing trend of 2+ hour blockbusters in recent years, it’s important to note that James Cameron did it first and far earlier than 2022.
Before Warner Bros.’ The Batman or Marvel Studios’ string of lengthy epics, Cameron released Titanic and Avatar which, despite their length, dominated the box office and still hold records.
Not only is the legendary director looking to do the same with his sequel to 2009’s Avatar, but he’s also made The Way of Water longer.
And, now, theater listings suggest that Avatar 2’s runtime is even longer than previously expected.
Back in October, a New Zealand theater listing shared that Avatar: The Way of Water has a runtime of 190 minutes (3 hours and 10 minutes).
While this would’ve made the sequel the longest film of 2022, a new listing claims an even lengthier runtime.
According to a new AMC Theaters listing, Avatar 2 actually boasts a 192-minute (3 hours and 12 minutes) runtime.
The original Avatar spanned 162 minutes (2 hours and 42 minutes).
For comparison, here is a list of other 2022 films known for their own lengthy runtimes:
While an additional two minutes may not seem significant at first glance, when it comes to theatrical records, the film’s budget, and maximizing box office returns, two minutes is huge.
Regarding the box office, Avatar 2‘s previously reported runtime was already a concern.
The longer a film is, the fewer showtimes a theater can provide. And, since the sequel will unavoidably be compared to the original – which still stands as the highest-grossing film of all time – its length is one of Avatar 2‘s biggest hurdles.
There’s also the question of whether the length will discourage some from going to the theater – an argument that James Cameron doesn’t want to hear about.
The director already came out against runtime criticisms, saying he doesn’t want “anybody whining about length when they sit and binge-watch [television] for eight hours.”
Still, whether audiences are willing to do the same in a theater as opposed to their own couch remains to be seen but will be found out come December.
Avatar: The Way of Water arrives in theaters on Friday, December 16.