Director James Cameron announced today at CinemaCon in Las Vegas that he's produced so much material for the "Avatar" franchise that he is now planning on making four sequels instead of the previously announced three.

Each film will arrive in theaters at Christmas, with the first coming in 2018. That movie will be following by further sequels in 2020, 2022 and the finale entry in 2023.

"We're making four epic films that stand alone but together form a saga," the Academy Award-winning filmmaker said at the event. "These movies were designed to be seen in theaters first."

The original "Avatar" film was released in 2009 and went on to become the highest-grossing film of all-time with $2.788 billion at the worldwide box office.

"I've been working with the top four screenwriters and designers in the world to design the world of Avatar going forward. The environments, new cultures, whatever it takes to life. From what I'm seeing the art on the pure imagination is just beyond the first film. I'm speechless," Cameron said.

Before making the announcement, Cameron commented on the developing  video on demand streaming service, The Screening Room, which would directly compete with movie theaters for first-viewings of Hollywood's biggest and best offerings.

"Our job as filmmakers is to keep making films on screen," Cameron said. "We'll continue to make this industry the greatest show on earth. My producer Jon Landau and I are committed to the theater experience. Despite what the folks at the Screening Room say, I think movies need to be offered in the theater on opening day. So boom.

"There's an important point that needs to be made. There's always been a threat with moviegoing whether that's been video, DVD, or streaming...we answer it by being great with our showmanship. We create things by being great in the movie theater. I want to give exhibition a shout out for keeping the experience sacred. Making the sound better, the chairs comfier, whatever it takes to get people to get in their cars to go across town."