A Streaming Guide to Watching James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water

James Cameron probably didn’t spend years inventing new underwater filming technology just for us to watch Avatar: The Way of Water on our laptops. But hey, it’s 2023—if the people want to stream a movie, they will.

Even so, the theatrical release of Cameron’s long-awaited Avatar sequel was able to lure enough viewers off their couches and into cinemas around the world. So much that it has grossed over $2 billion a month after opening in theaters. It’s also only the sixth movie ever to cross that benchmark, according to Deadline.

Along with its commercial success, the sci-fi saga has also nabbed four Oscar nominations: Best Picture, Best Production Design, Best Sound, and Best Visual Effects. Given the news, viewers are probably curious about watching (or re-watching) the sci-fi epic—which follows Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), and their family—ahead of the ceremony.

Avatar: The Way of Water is still playing in theaters and not yet streaming, but viewers can expect to see it on Disney+ in the future. The question is when. Per People, Disney announced in 2021 that its films would begin streaming 45 days after their theatrical debuts, but the rules might’ve changed since then, especially now that COVID restrictions have eased up. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, for example, will begin streaming 82 days after opening. Given Avatar 2 was an even bigger hit at the box office, we wouldn’t be surprised if it took even longer for the film to hit Disney+’s library.

In the meantime, the original 2009 Avatar is streaming on the platform, in case you want to brush up on your Naʼvi before watching the sequel.

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Erica Gonzales is the Senior Culture Editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage on TV, movies, music, books, and more. She was previously an editor at HarpersBAZAAR.com. There is a 75 percent chance she’s listening to Lorde right now. 


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