How to watch Avatar: The Way of Water

Britain Dalton in Avatar: The Way of Water
Britain Dalton in Avatar: The Way of Water (Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

The wait for the Avatar sequel is over, as James Cameron's return to Pandora arrives worldwide on December 16. But just how can you watch Avatar: The Way of Water?

It's been 13 years since the original movie broke just about every box office record there was at the time. And though it has been surpassed since its initial run by a few movies at the US box office, Avatar still ranks as the fourth highest-grossing movie of all time. Can The Way of Water have similar success? And in this new environment, do you even need to go to the theater to see it?

We've got everything you need to know about how to watch Avatar: The Way of Water right now.

How to watch Avatar: The Way of Water in movie theaters

To answer our earlier question — yes, you're going to need to go to the movie theaters to watch Avatar: The Way of Water, as the movie releases exclusively in theaters worldwide on December 16 (with early Thursday screenings in many locations). Moviegoers are going to have multiple options on how they want to watch The Way of Water, as it is going to be shown in standard 2D, 3D and, where available, IMAX.

To find out when and where Avatar: The Way of Water is playing near you, check out your local movie theaters' websites or use a resource like Fandango (opens in new tab), which shows you all the movies playing, and where, in your area.

Love going to the movies but not a fan of how expensive movie tickets have become? One solution could be movie theater subscription and membership deals. Offered by many US and UK movie theater chains, consumers can sign up to get free/discounted tickets or a monthly allotment of tickets for a set price, as well as deals on other movie-going necessities, like concessions.

Is Avatar: The Way of Water streaming?

No, Avatar: The Way of Water is not available to stream or watch online in any way at this time.

There is no indication of when that may change (most movies now have a 30-45 day window at least of playing exclusively in theaters), but it's a pretty good bet that whenever Avatar: The Way of Water does make its streaming debut, it is going to do so on Disney Plus, where original Avatar is currently streaming.

We'll update this page with info on when Avatar: The Way of Water is making its way online as that information is announced.

What else you need to know about Avatar: The Way of Water

Avatar: The Way of Water returns to Pandora more than a decade after the events of the original movie. Jake and Neytiri have started a family and are living peacefully, but when the humans and an old enemy return, they are forced to go on the run and seek help from a clan of Na'vi that make their lives by the ocean.

Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang and Sigourney Weaver all return from Avatar (though not all in the same role), along with new additions to the cast in Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Britain Dalton, Bailey Bass and Jack Champion,

Critics have mostly enjoyed Cameron's continuation of this story, as it is "Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab). What to Watch's Avatar: The Way of Water review calls the movie visually stunning, but did have some issues with it, not least of all its three-hour plus runtime.

Watch the trailer for Avatar: The Way of Water right here.

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd (opens in new tab).