Even if they didn’t realize it, the world was ready to go back to Pandora. After 13 long years between installments, “Avatar: The Way of Water” has swum past even the more bullish projections, recently passing “Top Gun: Maverick” to become the highest-grossing global release of 2022. It’ll have a tougher journey to pass Tom Cruise’s megahit domestically, but James Cameron’s latest will have a decent chance to become one of the ten highest-grossing films of all time worldwide and in North America.

Before its release, one of the primary “Avatar” talking points among detractors focused on its supposedly small cultural footprint, despite the first film standing firm as the highest-grossing global release of all time. So CivicScience wanted to check the temperature of U.S. adults after the sequel’s success. Are they ready for the third of five planned “Avatar” films? What do they make of its cultural impact?

According to our latest data, just under one-fifth of U.S. adults are ‘very likely’ to see “Avatar 3” when it’s slated for release in 2024 – but 43% are at least ‘somewhat likely’ to go. Among Gen Z adults, those numbers take a significant leap, with 74% polled claiming they’re at least ‘somewhat likely’ to see the next film (and just over one-third reporting as ‘very likely’). This drastically outpaces older age groups, and ought to be an encouraging sign for the franchise’s future prospects.

If the box office receipts are any indication, the cultural memory of “Avatar” was clearly no hindrance to the sequel. Just 15% of U.S. adults would rate the franchise’s cultural impact as ‘high,’ with just under half clocking it at ‘low.’ That said, the ‘high’ camp is extremely loyal when it comes to seeing the next film – and even 9% of adults who find it to be low impact are ‘very likely’ to see the third movie. Those who think Cameron’s decades-spanning project has a ‘moderate’ cultural impact are still quite bullish on its future, with 73% at least ‘somewhat likely’ to turn out. While there might have been some doubt about the franchise making it to movie #3 leading up to ‘The Way of Water,’ enough of the public seems on board for Cameron to explore every last corner of Pandora.

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