ITEM! The day you never thought would come has arrived! Despite Avatar's crushing box office disappointment, Fox and Cameron are pushing forward with not one but two sequels. Press release!

Moving forward with the most anticipated films of the next decade, Fox Filmed Entertainment Chairmen Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman announced today that Academy Award-winning filmmaker James Cameron has agreed to make Avatar 2 and 3 as his next films.

Christ. "Agreed." You'd think they'd make it sound like Cameron was just a tiny bit more excited about it, instead of like he only gave in to making them after receiving countless 2 am phone calls from a sobbing Rothman, begging to know if Dr. Ripley was really dead or if she would come back as a benevolent Pandoran planet goddess.

Cameron, who had always viewed Avatar as the creation of a new world and mythology, will begin work on the scripts early next year with an eye towards commencing production later in 2011. Cameron will decide if he will shoot the films back-to-back after he completes the scripts, but the release of the first, as yet untitled sequel, is targeted for December 2014, with the third film contemplated for a December 2015 release.

Fun fact: Mercury office pug Olive, pictured above, is already in line at Lloyd Cinemas. She goes fucking CRAZY for Avatar. This is the best day she's had since she got into Ned's garbage.

Hit the jump for news about The Hobbit and the next Batman flick.

ITEM! Does anyone else get the impression that Peter Jackson might be kind of a drama queen? Anyway, the Times has the news that despite threats from Warner Bros. and Jackson, The Hobbit movies will film in New Zealand.

Warner Brothers agreed to keep Peter Jackson’s production of The Hobbit in New Zealand after the government promised to change local labor laws and offered extra financial incentives, Prime Minister John Key said Wednesday.

The deal came after two days of talks between Mr. Key and other government officials and executives from Warner and its New Line Cinema unit.

Yes, the prime minister of New Zealand was in "days of talks" related to dwarves. Anyway, congrats, 15 people who live in New Zealand! I'm sure this is a very exciting day for the very short and fat amongst you.

ITEM! Christopher Nolan has announced some stuff about the new Batman movie: It'll be called The Dark Knight Rises (heh), the Riddler won't be in it (which is sure to make certain someone make a :^( face), and it won't be in 3D. Via Hero Complex:

Christopher Nolan’s third Batman film will be called The Dark Knight Rises


and though the Gotham City auteur isn’t ready to reveal the villain of his 2012 film, he did eliminate one of the big contenders: “It won’t be the Riddler,” Nolan said in an exclusive interview with Hero Complex.

Nolan was most eager to talk about the fact that Warner Bros. had agreed with his argument that the film should resist the current 3D craze and instead use high-definition approaches and IMAX cameras to strike out on a different cinematic path than the stereoscopic technology that, for better or worse, has become the dominant conversation in the blockbuster sector.

Go ahead, say I'm immature because I'll be snickering for the next two years anytime someone says "The Dark Knight Rises." Whatever, man. I guarantee you Michael Caine is giggling about that very same shit right this second. If I know one thing about that guy, it's that he loves boner jokes.