We’re as guilty as anyone when it comes to poking fun at James Cameron – and especially his belated, costly Avatar sequels, which, judging from the recently released teaser trailer for Avatar: The Way of Water are going to be so hyper-realistic you’ll truly believe you’ve taken ecstasy and broken into a Rainforest Cafe.

While internet snarks may have been doubtful about the sequels’ potential given Avatar’s perceived lack of cultural impact, the new trailer reportedly racked up “148.6 million views” in just its first day, which is even more than “all recent Star Wars films.” While a lot of these views may have been from folks checking to make sure that the movie actually exists, this thing is shaping up to be another monster hit. And really, we shouldn’t be at all surprised since James Cameron’s day job for the past several decades has basically been to produce crazy film expensive projects, prompt massive amounts of media skepticism, and then make buckets and buckets of money in the process.

Even back in the ‘80s, people were dubious about Cameron’s sequel to Ridley Scott’s classic Alien. And before it came out, news outlets cast shade on the “bloated” spending of Terminator 2: Judgement Day, only to have it become a box office  sensation, inspiring yet more sequels and at least one baffling board game tie-in.

Similarly, the narrative around True Lies focused on how it was “the most expensive movie ever made” at that point in time, which Cameron denied. Eyebrows were further raised when it was revealed that the movie would be “late and over budget.” It eventually “grossed $378.8 million worldwide.” Most notoriously, despite these successes, the big budget Titanic was predicted to be a giant flop; the Washington Post even questioned: “Can a disaster epic about an epic disaster avoid the very fate it dramatizes?” Well, anyone who still remembers all the words to Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go One” can tell you how that turned out.

And even after all of those predictions turned out to be wildly off-base, people still suspected that Avatar, the current highest-grossing movie of all-time, would be the “exact opposite story” of Titanic and become “The Longest, Biggest Flop Ever.” So really, betting against Cameron’s box office success at this point, is a little like betting against Seth Rogen’s ability to smoke weed and giggle. 

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Top Image: 20th Century Studios

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