As the box office continues to sag, and home video sales shrink more and more each year, when "Avatar" bounced into theaters kicking 3D in the pants as a new source of ticket revenue and with a healthy $3 billion worldwide box office haul, executives at Fox were overjoyed. They had a massive new franchise they could exploit for years to come (multiple DVD versions of the movies have already seen to that). In the fall of 2010, the studio optimistically announced that the inevitable sequels were being planned with "Avatar 2" to land in December 2014 and "Avatar 3" a year later on 2015. But it seems the calendar has been pushed back a bit.
Bleeding Cool recently attended an advanced screening of select footage from the upcoming "Titanic" 3D do-over, and managed to catch a few minutes with producer Jon Landau. While recorders weren't permitted at the event, they relay that when asked about the upcoming sequels, Landau said the first one is "four years away." That puts it in the neighborhood of 2016.
Are we surprised? Not really. Despite being announced, there hasn't been much in the way of actual movement on the projects so far, and with the plan to shoot them back-to-back to meet the 2014 release, we presume Cameron would need to start lensing in 2012 which doesn't seem to be the case. If you also remember, Cameron had said he wanted to write a prequel novel before starting work on the sequels, and there was also talk of research in the Mariana Trench. Neither of those things seem to have happened yet.
Moreover, with a theme park being built, maybe Disney wants time to make sure it can open concurrently with the sequels or something. At any rate, we suppose as this makes the rounds, Fox will weigh in with some kind of official word. Until then, looks like fans are gonna be blue balled (ha!) for the follow up, with a wait extending a few more years.