Avatar 2 budget and filming locations explored

A still from Avatar 2 (Image via 20th Century Studios)
A still from Avatar 2 (Image via 20th Century Studios)

Avatar 2, or Avatar: The Way of the Water, has long been a topic of discussion amongst fans who waited for over a decade for the sequel to the massively popular Avatar.

The visually-stunning film became the highest-grossing flick of all time, accumulating over $2.5 Billion in its run. The talks of the film have been around since the original film's release. It was later confirmed that Avatar will have four sequels, which will be shot back-to-back.


According to sources, the total budget for the four sequels is estimated to be around $1 billion. This means each of the sequels costs roughly $250 million. This is far from the highest budget spent on a single film, with Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides costing a humungous $422 million to make.

Avatar 2 is mostly CGI, much like its predecessor. It was shot at Manhattan Beach, MBS Media Campus, Stone Street Studios, and Weta Digital (visual effects).

Avatar 2 shooting locations: Bringing Pandora to life

The mystic world of James Cameroon's Pandora is one of the driving factors in the film's popularity. In what can be considered an exclusively potent big-screen experience, Avatar 2's trailer hints at an even bigger visual marvel than the original film.

The film was initially scheduled for 2015, with another sequel planned for 2015, but numerous delays stopped the film from going into production before 2017. This means that Avatar 2 took approximately five years to make. Speaking about the delays, Cameroon said:

"I wouldn’t call them delays. It was highly optimistic that we could start quickly until scripts are written. If there’s no scripts, there’s nothing, right? The scripts took four years."

The film officially went into filming in 2017 in Manhattan Beach, California, where the majority of the film was shot. Later, it was revealed that New Zealand was also one of the locations.

The shooting for Avatar 2 predominantly took place at the 22-acre Manhattan Beach Studios (MBS) Media Campus, which has all the necessary elements to shoot a film that is extensively based on CGI. Several underwater scenes were also shot in this location, many of which were featured in the extended trailer for the film.

Both Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 were also shot in New Zealand, where the crew reportedly headed for six months in Spring 2019. The other two confirmed locations for the film include Stone Street Studios and Weta Digital, where the sequences with VFX were reportedly shot.

The official synopsis for Avatar: The Way of the Water reads:

"Jake Sully and Ney'tiri have formed a family and are doing everything to stay together. However, they must leave their home and explore the regions of Pandora. When an ancient threat resurfaces, Jake must fight a difficult war against the humans."

The film will continue where the first film left off, with perhaps a time jump in between. It will also feature many recurring characters from the first part. The primary cast is also the same.

Avatar: The Way of the Water will premiere on December 16, 2022.

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Edited by Shreya Das