Only James Cameron gets an exception to streaming fragmentation.
Avatar: The Way of Water is landing on not one but two streaming services on June 7th. In a press release on Monday, Warner Bros. Discovery shared that the James Cameron film is coming to the company’s combined Max streaming service in addition to Disney Plus.
It’s a bit of a rarity to see a high-profile film like Avatar make its debut on more than one streaming service at a time, but it seems the shared premiere is all thanks to a modified agreement Disney made with WarnerMedia in 2021. Under the terms of the deal, HBO Max (soon-to-be Max) can share the rights to films Disney’s 20th Century Studios released in 2022 with Hulu and Disney Plus.
The Way of Water first hit theaters in December 2022, and it proved to be another huge hit for Cameron: according to Warner Bros. Discovery, the movie is now the “third highest-grossing film of all time worldwide.” (The first Avatar holds the top spot.) And the addition of The Way of Water could be a boon for the company as it aims to get people onboarded with its new Max streaming service, which launches on May 23rd. That said, because The Way of Water will also start streaming on Disney Plus the same day it does on Max, the film may not be as big of a subscriptions driver as it likely would have been if it was exclusive.