According to James Cameron, the film is "very fucking [expensive]".

13 years after the highest-grossing film ever to be released stunned us all with its beautiful visuals and thought-provoking storyline, its sequel film is finally on the cusp of release. But just how expensive was 'Avatar 2' to make, and will it be able to live up to the hype set by the original?

Hitting cinemas this December, 'Avatar: The Way of Water' is undoubtedly pegged as the biggest cinematic release of the year, but it does have some stiff competition this holiday season should it wish to stay on top. In a year that was overrun with Marvel releases and a 'Top Gun' sequel, the wintery season has the latest 'Knives Out' entry (which hits cinemas tomorrow), and 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody', the Tina Turner biopic, due for release at the very end of the year.

Will audiences fill up cinemas for this second entry out of a planned five film franchise? Helmer James Cameron is desperately hoping so. The 68-year-old said in an interview with GQ published this week that the film was "very fucking [expensive]" but the exact figure still remains a mystery. It's been reported that 'Avatar 2' cost upwards of $250 million; and that's just the first sequel film's cost.

He told Disney and 20th Century Studios executives that the film represents "the worst business case in movie history," with the real problem being that in order for the sequel to be profitable it has to be "the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history.

"That’s your threshold. That’s your break even."

Yikes. Absolutely zero pressure then.

His 2009 hit currently stands as the highest-grossing film of all time, raking in over $2.9 billion at the box office worldwide. The record-breaking sci-fi epic was re-released in cinemas earlier this year in anticipation of its follow-up (hoping to earn a few more bucks, no doubt).

Only five films have crossed the two billion dollar benchmark - 'Avatar', 'Avengers: Endgame', Cameron's 'Titanic', 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' and 'Avengers: Infinity War' - and it seems like this new entry is aiming to knock one of these out of the top five.

'Avatar: The Way of Water', starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez and Sigourney Weaver, hits cinemas on December 16.