Actress Edie Falco, who is one of the stars in James Cameron's Avatar: The Way of Water, admitted she mistakenly assumed the sequel to 2009's Avatar had already been released and bombed at the box office.
After Avatar's massive success at the box office at the time, two sequels were announced for release in December 2014 and 2015.
However, the films which were to be shot simultaneously kept getting pushed back due to pre-production challenges.
Principal photography for The Way of Water finally began on September 25, 2017.
Five years later, fans got to see the long-awaited sequel released in theaters last weekend.
Falco, who plays General Frances Ardmore, appeared on The View and recalled how she thought Avatar 2 came and went until a friend apprised her it hadn't been released yet.
The Sopranos and Nurse Jackie alum admitted:
“I saw the first one when it was out, and that’s going back some time."
"And the second 'Avatar,' the one that’s coming out, I shot I think four years ago."
“And then I’ve been busy doing stuff and somebody mentioned Avatar and I thought, ‘Oh, I guess it came out and didn’t do very well.’ "
"Because I hadn’t heard anything. I thought, ‘Oh, well it happens!'”
You can watch Falco share the anecdote here.
Edie Falco On Diving Into 'Avatar: The Way of Water' | The Viewyoutu.be
Falco was in for a surprise.
“And then someone recently said, ‘Oh, 'Avatar' is coming out!’ I said, ‘It hasn’t come out yet?!'”
When the Avatar sequels were delayed multiple times, Cameron chalked it up to the challenging writing process he described as "a complex job."
The Academy Award-winning director said of the sequels that continue the exploration of environmentalist themes from the first film:
"It will be a natural extension of all the themes, and the characters, and the spiritual undercurrents."
"Basically, if you loved the first movie, you're gonna love these movies, and if you hated it, you're probably gonna hate these."
"If you loved it at the time, and you said later you hated it, you're probably gonna love these."
Avatar: The Way of Water debuted below the prediction range of $150M-$175M according to Deadline.
It's too early to tell whether or not Falco inadvertently prognosticated Avatar 2's below-average performance at the box office as the critically acclaimed sequel that had fans giving it a thumbs up has yet to draw more moviegoers over the holiday weekend and into the new year.
Box Office Mojo is confident Avatar 2 should have strong legs and could see an increase in ticket sales.
"For one, around 1/5th of the film’s presales are post-opening weekend, compared to a negligible amount on the typical big blockbuster."
"We’re also already seeing concrete signs that this is less front-loaded than the average franchise film, with Saturday’s gross coming in at 16% below Friday’s."
"That’s the best Saturday hold for a $100+ million opener since 'Frozen II' in 2019 which actually grew 19% in its second day of release."
Avatar: The Way of Water also stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Stephen Lang, and Sigourney Weaver–all of whom are returning cast members reprising their roles with the exception of Weaver, who plays Kiri–Jake and Neytiri's adopted 14-year-old daughter.