Why Isn’t “Avatar: The Way of Water” on Disney Plus?

As the highly anticipated sequel to James Cameron’s groundbreaking film “Avatar,” “Avatar: The Way of Water” has captured the attention of fans worldwide. However, many have been left puzzled by its absence on Disney Plus, one of the largest streaming platforms. we dive deep into the reasons behind this decision and explore the future of the “Avatar” franchise on Disney Plus.

Licensing Agreements and Studio Ownership

Studio Ownership: 20th Century Studios and Disney

In 2019, Disney acquired 20th Century Fox, which subsequently became 20th Century Studios. This acquisition included the rights to many film franchises, including “Avatar.” However, the transition was not as seamless as one might expect, with licensing agreements and distribution rights still bound to their pre-acquisition contracts.

Pre-existing Licensing Agreements

When “Avatar: The Way of Water” was in production, 20th Century Fox had already signed licensing agreements with various streaming platforms and television networks. Consequently, these pre-existing deals have had a direct impact on the film’s availability on Disney Plus.

The Role of HBO Max in the Distribution of “Avatar: The Way of Water”

Exclusive Rights for a Limited Time

HBO Max, one of Disney Plus’s main competitors, managed to secure the exclusive streaming rights for “Avatar: The Way of Water” for a limited time. This exclusivity window has delayed the film’s arrival on Disney Plus, as Disney is contractually obligated to respect the terms of the agreement.

The Impact on Disney Plus Subscribers

As a result of this exclusivity, Disney Plus subscribers have been unable to stream “Avatar: The Way of Water” on the platform, leading to confusion and disappointment. Nonetheless, this situation is temporary, and the film will eventually make its way to Disney Plus.

The Future of the “Avatar” Franchise on Disney Plus

Completion of the Exclusivity Window

Once the exclusive streaming rights held by HBO Max have expired, “Avatar: The Way of Water” will be available for streaming on Disney Plus. This transition is expected to occur after the film’s theatrical run and the completion of its pay television and streaming windows.

Upcoming “Avatar” Sequels and Disney Plus

With additional sequels in the “Avatars” franchise planned, Disney will likely prioritize its streaming platform for future releases. As a result, Disney Plus subscribers can expect more streamlined access to new installments in the series.


The absence of “Avatar: The Way of Water” on Disney Plus is primarily due to pre-existing licensing agreements and the exclusive rights secured by HBO Max. As these contracts expire and Disney gains greater control over the franchise, fans can anticipate easier access to future “Avatar” films on Disney Plus. Until then, viewers will need to patiently wait for the sequel to arrive on their preferred streaming platform.

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