While working on the next two Avatar sequels in New Zealand, director James Cameron took a moment to speak with Jimmy Fallon about his new Disney+ documentary, and his hope for movie theaters returning in a post-COVID world.
Appearing on the show virtually from his editing suite, Cameron was asked whether he cares all that much about Avatar reclaiming its title as the No. 1 highest grossing film of all-time from Avengers: Endgame. Following the re-release of Avatar in China not too long ago, the film now sits at $2.802 billion, while Endgame is at $2.797 billion. To put it simply, though, James Cameron seems more concerned about the future of movie theaters than he does beating the Avengers.
“Everybody makes a big deal out of [the battle to be No. 1 at the Box Office worldwide], but the truth is what we really need to focus on is getting back to theaters,” Cameron said. “Hopefully we can still have movies like that, Endgame and Avatar and the big Marvel movies and all that, movies that are able to make $1 billion or $2 billion.”
He took a moment to highlight the heavier reliance some studios have had on streaming amid the pandemic, and while he’s not against streaming platforms he still wants movie theaters to stick around. "Let’s pray that movie theaters are still there after this pandemic and after this shift towards streaming, not that I have anything against streaming," he continued. "There’s great writing and great shows in [streaming], but let’s remember that movie theaters are a sacred experience for all of us. Let’s get back out there when it’s safe to do so."
Elsewhere in his interview with Fallon, the Terminator director was also asked how he’s going to top Avatar with the upcoming two sequels. “I just sit here at my desk and cry all day long, because there’s no way,” he joked. “It’s too much pressure dude… No look, we just try to be kinda true to what people loved about the first film, and take it into whole new areas.”
Watch his full interview with Fallon above.