Avatar: The Way of Water may still be dominating the box office, but Disney+ subscribers could soon be traveling to Pandora. Just weeks after James Cameron's followup to his 2009 blockbuster Avatar hit theaters on Dec. 16, Avatar: The Way of Water seems likely to hit the Disney+ streaming library sooner rather than later.
Although Disney has not yet confirmed a launch date for the film on its streaming service, taking a look back at the streamer's previous theater-to-streaming service practices and announcements provides some insight. Back in September 2021, the company announced a minimum 45-day exclusive theatrical release for its remaining releases that year, a release window that has been adopted for Marvel Cinematic Universe movies like Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings as well as other films. This means that if Avatar: The Way of Water follows this process, the film would arrive on the streaming platform on Monday, Jan. 30, according to PEOPLE. However, it is possible that fans may not have to wait that long, as the movie could hit the streamer even sooner. Disney has previously granted 30-day release windows for some films, including Encanto. This timeframe would put Avatar's Disney+ release date at Sunday, Jan. 15.
It is also important to note that Avatar's journey to Disney+ may take a bit longer. In the past, Disney has extended that pipeline further for select films, including Thor: Love and Thunder, which made it to Disney+ 62 days after its premiere, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which is set to be available for streaming beginning Wednesday, Feb. 1, marking an 82-day window. Avatar: The Way of Water does currently have a placeholder in the Disney+ streaming library, which gives subscribers the ability to add the title to their watchlist for streaming once it is available on the platform.
Arriving in theaters 13 years after Avatar, Avatar: The Way of Water is set over a decade after the first film and again finds Sam Worthington in the role of Jake Sully, a former human-turned-Na'vi. Zoe Saldana reprised her role as Jake's wife Neytiri for the film, which follows the Sully family and "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," per an official logline. Sigourney Weaver has a new role as Kiri, Keyteri, and Jake's teenage daughter. Stephen Lang, Cliff Curtis, Giovanni Ribisi, CCH Pounder, Joel David Moore, Edie Falco, Jemaine Clement, Michelle Yeoh, and Kate Winsley also star.
The film has been a massive box office success, pulling a global total of $435 million over its opening weekend, making it the fourth-biggest opening weekend of 2022. The film has a 77% critics score and 92% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Avatar 3 was shot back-to-back with the second film and is expected to debut on Dec. 20, 2024. As fans await Avatar: The Way of Water's Disney+ release date, the 2009 film is currently streaming on the platform.