James Cameron's Avatar: The Way of Water will have to storm box office records to break even

Movie budgets are getting out of hand. Recently, auteurs such as Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese have railed against Marvel films making it impossible for smaller films to compete. A large part of the problem comes down to the financing committed to key franchises. Studios, at the end of the day, are concerned with making money, and the hefty billion-dollar return that special effects-laden movies fetch makes the $300 million budget they boast a decent deal. In the eyes of most studios, what's the point of wasting scratch on a smaller flick that will barely break even?

Next month, James Cameron's Avatar franchise returns with a long-awaited sequel. The film has a lot to live up to, as the first movie became the highest-grossing film of all time. Apparently, the budget for Avatar: The Way of Water is so laughably high that the film will have to become the "third or fourth highest-grossing movie" of all-time to break even. 

When it comes to blockbuster directors few are bigger than James Cameron, whose films have grossed more than $6 billion at the worldwide box office.

With the difficulties that come along with creating his films come massive budgets. The first "Avatar" cost nearly $250 million to produce, and Cameron says that in order for the second film to turn a profit it would "have to be the third or fourth highest grossing film in history. That's your threshold. That's your break even."