Disney and 20th Century have announced that James Cameron‘s Avatar will return to theaters on September 23. Its now in upgraded 4K High Dynamic Range format. The epic sci-fi movie will be rereleased three months before its much-awaited sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water. The movie debuts on December 16.

Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana’s movie Avatar will have a “two-week restricted engagement.”


Avatar, directed by James Cameron, earned more than USD 2.8 billion at the global box office. This making it the highest-grossing movie of all time. In addition to winning three Oscars for best cinematography, production design, and visual effects, it was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including best film and best director.

Avatar’s 2010 extended theatrical rerelease, only available in 3D theaters and IMAX 3D, brought in USD 44 million globally. The movie’s rerelease in China at the beginning of the year was USD 57.7 million.

According to Deadline, Avatar has been taken down from Disney+ in advance of the theatrical rerelease. It will, however, make a second appearance on the studio’s streaming service at a later time, right before the debut of Avatar: The Way of Water.

New Attempt

Suppose Disney’s attempts to coerce you into seeing Avatar again in a cinema are effective. In that case, you will be able to relive the entire experience just as it was in 2009. You won’t be needing to wait more than ten years to forget all the technical terms and world-building. (Well, almost the complete experience—you won’t get the “pleasure” of listening to “Boom Boom Pow” or “Poker Face” on the radio as you drive home from the movie theater to post on a forum indignantly about James Cameron making “unobtanium” a legitimate plot component in a sci-fi movie.)

I recall watching Batman Begins and The Dark Knight on The Dark Knight Rises opening night. Some theaters have done similar things for Marvel movie premieres. Returning films to theaters to prepare you for a sequel isn’t necessarily a new phenomenon. Even James Cameron has experienced theatrical rereleases before; Titanic is scheduled to do so once more in 2019 — but, presumably, not because it’s getting a sequel. But while seeing the prequels is usually a pleasure, this time around it kind of feels like required reading because of how intricate Avatar was and how long it’s been since it was released.

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