By Kerry Close
April 14, 2016
Twentieth Century Fox—

Good news if you were one of the millions who helped make Avatar the highest-grossing film of all time: You’ll have four more chances to help break that record.

Director James Cameron has signed on to create four more films to follow his wildly popular 3-D epic Avatar, Business Insider reported. Avatar, the story of highly-evolved aliens fighting for the survival of their planet, grossed nearly $2.8 billion worldwide following its release in 2009. The first sequel will be released on Christmas 2018, with additional releases in 2020, 2022 and 2023.

“I’ve been working with the top four screenwriters and designers in the world to design the world of Avatar going forward,” Cameron said Thursday. “The environments, new cultures—whatever it takes to bring it to life.”

Despite burgeoning popularity of options to stream recently-released films, Cameron has already made it clear that the Avatar films will only be available to theatergoers at first, the Verge reported.

“I think it’s absolutely essential for movies to be offered exclusively in theaters on their initial release,” he said.

It seems as though Cameron is betting his hopes of breaking profit records on moviegoers flocking to theaters to see the latest installment in a beloved franchise. That hope might not be misguided. The latest movie in the Star Wars series, The Force Awakens, grossed nearly $2.1 billion and is now the third-highest grossing film of all time—behind Cameron-directed classics Avatar and Titanic, the latter of which has made almost $2.2 billion since its 1997 release.

If the sequels don’t post the same high box office numbers as the original Avatar, Cameron could still earn some extra pocket change from related spinoff ventures, including a theme park from Disney and a deal with Dark Horse Comics for a series of graphic novels.

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