Avatar: The Way of Water is putting up huge numbers at the box office, and its success signals that society is excited to get off the couch and go to a cinema, according to writer-director James Cameron. He told Variety that he doesn’t care so much about how he now has three of the top seven highest-grossing movies in history (the other two are Avatar and Titanic). What’s more important to him, he says, is that The Way of Water is reigniting interest in the moviegoing experience.

“I’m thinking of it more in the terms of we’re going back to theaters around the world. People are going back to theaters. They’re even going to theaters in China where they’re having this huge COVID surge. We’re saying as a society, ‘We need this! We need to go to movie theaters.'” Summing up his thoughts, Cameron said with a laugh, “Enough with the streaming already! I’m tired of sitting on my ass.”

The theatrical movie business saw a significant slump during the height of the pandemic, and it’s still not yet fully recovered (and it may never return to pre-pandemic heights). The Way of Water’s big success seems to suggest that, for a huge blockbuster, people are willing and eager to leave their homes to watch a film. Of course, streaming movies at home remains incredibly popular as well.

The Way of Water has earned more than $1.7 billion worldwide, and Cameron told Variety he is optimistic that the film can clear $2 billion in the coming weeks. If it does, it would be Cameron’s third movie to make more than $2 billion worldwide, following the original Avatar ($2.92 billion) and Titanic ($2.2 billion).

Thanks to the massive success of The Way of Water, Cameron is moving ahead with his planned sequels, including Avatar 3, Avatar 4, and Avatar 5. Avatar 3, which is already filmed, will feature evil Na’vi.