Internet reacts to Avatar 2 run time: 'marriages don't last as long!'

Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) in Avatar: The Way of Water
(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

With Avatar: The Way of Water nearly upon us, with a December 16 release date meaning audiences are going to be flocking to movie theaters all across the holiday break, people are starting to understand what they're getting into.

The official runtime for Avatar 2 has been revealed, and at 3 hours and 12 minutes, it's certainly not going to be up for the Academy Award for Best Short Film. That's exactly half an hour longer than the runtime for the original Avatar.

That's not a huge surprise — movies are really getting longer, as we explored in a study on runtimes by year —  but that doesn't mean everyone is happy about it.

In fact, the internet has begun reacting to Avatar 2's epic minute count.

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Surprisingly, that's not quite the insult you think it is.

In 2019 a couple in Kuwait lasted only 3 minutes, according to news sources from the company (opens in new tab), and it's hard to fault Avatar 2 for being longer than the average pop song.

Most short-lived celebrity marriages last for at least a day or two though, so even though they end startlingly quickly, a married couple could still enjoy Avatar: The Way of Water before turning in their rings. 

But enough of ruining people's jokes, let's look at some more reactions. And, more specifically, the apprehension about it...

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Some people are pointing out that Avatar 2 isn't exactly the longest movie of all time...

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... but others are looking to other recent movies to prove that it's certainly not the shortest either...

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With critics' first impressions already out, lots of people are using the positive reception to Avatar: The Way of Water to mitigate their skepticism at the run time, but others are a little confused that many critics didn't address the movie's epic length.

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Director James Cameron has defended the length — speaking to What to Watch's sister publication GamesRadar (opens in new tab), the directing legend said "We didn’t spend as much time on relationship and emotion in the first film as we do in the second film, and it’s a longer film, because there’s more characters to service. There’s more story to service."

But it certainly is a long run-time, whether or not it's deserved.

For some context, the Concorde flew from New York City to London in 2 hours and 53 minutes — if it was still flying, and you watched the Avatar sequel on the flight, you'd miss the end of the movie.

But the James Cameron epic certainly isn't the longest ever made — in fact, it pales in comparison to the over-21-hour The Innocence from 2019, which is the longest-ever non-experimental movie. 

If you're looking to experimental movies, Logistics from 2012 is nearly 36 days long, which really is longer than plenty of celebrity marriages.

Tom Bedford
Streaming and Ecommerce Writer

Tom is the streaming and ecommerce writer at What to Watch, covering streaming services in the US and UK. His goal is to help you navigate the busy and confusing online video market, to help you find the TV, movies and sports that you're looking for without having to spend too much money.