Avatar: The Way of Water is set to release June 7 on Disney+, Disney+ Hotstar, and Max (wherever available). The much-anticipated sci-fi sequel from James Cameron, transporting you back to the exotic lands of Pandora, will arrive a whopping 173 days after its theatrical release on December 16 worldwide. That’s almost a half-year gap between release to streaming — Disney had implemented a minimum 45-day window before movies become available on its streaming platform, Disney+. This time, the film will also be available to stream on HBO Max — soon to be ‘Max’ on May 26 — owing to an unusual streaming agreement production company 20th Century Fox made with Warner Bros.
In India — over on Disney+ Hotstar — Avatar 2 will be up for streaming in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada. Unlike the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, there is no mention of an IMAX Enhanced version, which would expand the aspect ratio, resulting in more picture on screen. That said, a 4K Ultra-HD version with Dolby Vision/ Atmos can be purchased as VOD on Apple TV, which also includes Spanish subtitles. The movie clocks in at 3 hours and 12 minutes, and currently takes the no. 3 position among the highest-grossing movies of all time, besting Cameron’s own 1997 disaster romance film, Titanic. Avatar 2 made $2.319 billion (about Rs. 19,064 crore) at the worldwide box office.
It would also seem strange for a major release as such to premiere on two streaming platforms at the same time. This has to do with the timing of the deal 20th Century Studios struck with Warner Bros. The former — under the title ‘20th Century Fox‘ — did not have a streaming platform or owner, and therefore, signed a contract to collectively stream its movies exclusively on HBO Max and Disney’s services such as Disney+ and Hulu. Even now that the studio is owned by Disney, it has to honour its deal with WB for Avatar 2 — or rather, for half of the studio’s titles through the 2022 release year.
Set 15 years after the events of the first film, Avatar: The Way of Water sees Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña) as parents to five kids, thriving in the lush forests of the moon planet Pandora. A resurrected Recombinant Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang) and other ‘Sky People’ bring a new challenge for the family, who is forced to flee and seek help from the shoreline-dwelling Metkayina clan, who teach them the ways of the water and help prepare for the upcoming battle. The film won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects, in addition to being nominated in the Best Picture category. Cameron also previously alluded to introducing the fire culture of natives in Avatar 3.
Avatar: The Way of Water is out June 7 on Disney+, Disney+ Hotstar, and HBO Max wherever available. In India, the film will be available in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada.