Avatar 2: Making a Splash in the Box Office


Photo by Jake Hills on Unsplash

Paige Nataline and Abby Name

(Spoilers ahead for both Avatar and Avatar 2.

Fourteen years ago, we were introduced to Jake Sully, a paraplegic ex-marine sent to the planet Pandora to replace his late twin brother as an operator for the Avatar Program headed by Dr. Grace Augustine. Given the freedom to explore the planet, Jake, as his Na’vi avatar, soon meets Neytiri, a Pandoran native, who introduces him to the beauty of nature and eventually inducts him into her clan. The two fall in love, but Jake is constantly reminded of his duty to merely spy on the Na’vi. When Colonel Quaritch brutally destroys Hometree to access the lucrative unobtainium underneath, Jake eventually regains the Na’vi people’s trusts by connecting his mind to Toruk Makto. United in their fight against the other Sky People, the Na’vi prevails after an action-packed struggle. Finally, the ritual by the Tree of Souls permanently transfers Jake into his Na’vi body. 

While already an impressive science fiction movie on its own, boasting the latest CGI rendering techniques of its time, Avatar left a plethora of loose ends that had fans speculating for years: Is Grace still alive? What’s next for Neytiri and Jake? 


Such speculation would end with the release of Avatar 2: The Way of Water, the highly anticipated sequel to the award-winning Avatar. Premiering in theaters on December 16, 2022, it drew out both decade-old fans and those just recently introduced to the film series, earning over $430 million in its opening weekend. 


With a three-hour and ten-minute run time, a lot goes down in Avatar 2. Set a decade after the prequel, Jake and Neytiri have started a family with three Sully children; Neteyam and Lo’ak are the pair’s biological sons, and Kiri – biologically the daughter of Dr, Grace Augustine — has been taken in as one of their own. Humans again act as the antagonistic force, returning to colonize Pandora as their new home due to Earth’s decline. However, they take on the form of Avatars in order to invade more easily, with Colonel Quaritch at the head of the mission seeking vengeance against those that killed his human body. Fleeing from their home in the trees to theMetkayina people of the sea, the Sully family finds temporary refuge following Jake’s decision to prioritize his family’s safety and resign from his role as Toruk Makto.  


Avatar: The Way of Water truly displays the beauty and power of the ocean, bringing the audience alongside the Sully family as they learn of the Metkayina culture and their deep, heartwarming connections with sea life. With stunning cinematography and animated effects, thrilling scenes of action and combat combine with emotional scenes of family development and the very relevant theme of humankind versus nature.  With a current 92% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes,  Avatar: The Way of Water proves a must-watch — go hit the theaters and tell us what you think!