“Avatar: The Way of Water” Granted Rare Release Extension In China Over Lunar New Year

Avatar: The Way of Water will be spending more time on the big screen in China, where a rare release extension will allow the film to be screened through the Lunar New Year holiday, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

What’s Happening:

  • When Avatar: The Way of Water was released in China, another wave of COVID-19 was sweeping the country. Now, film regulators in the country granted the film a very rare release extension, allowing the film to run on screens through China for an additional 30 days.
  • Originally set to be pulled from theaters on January 15th, the film will now be granted an additional thirty days, carrying the film through the week-long Lunar New Year holiday. In China, films imported are granted permission to screen in the country for 30 day blocks. Avatar: The Way of Water debuted alongside America’s release on December 16th.
  • However, due to the release coinciding with another wave of COVID-19, the film performed far under than originally forecasted, taking in just under $200 million.
  • Despite the extension, Avatar: The Way of Water is still expected to see its numbers drop as a number of anticipated High-Profile Chinese films are set to release over the holiday period.
  • While film release extensions are already rare, it’s exceptionally surprising for one to get an extension during the Lunar New Year holiday. Typically, China usually blocks all foreign films from screening and distribution during important national holidays, that way the domestic industry will dominate the box office.
  • Reportedly, Hollywood has long protested this as anti-competitive and contrary to China’s World Trade Organization obligations — always to no avail.
  • Stateside, the opening of Avatar: The Way of Water took over the number 1 spot in the box office, taking in $134 million.
  • With Avatar: The Way of Water, the cinematic experience reaches new heights as director James Cameron transports audiences back to the magnificent world of Pandora in a spectacular and stirring action-packed adventure. Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, Avatar: The Way of Water begins to tell the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their kids), the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure.
  • This film is directed by James Cameron, produced by Cameron and Jon Landau, the Lightstorm Entertainment Production, and stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang and Kate Winslet.