Back in later October, when James Cameron announced that he was formally engaged in writing the next two movies in the "Avatar" trilogy, he mentioned that Twentieth Century Fox had sweetened his involvement by making a large donation to his "environmental green fund."

That was a little puzzling, since Cameron doesn't have his own designated fund. But after a few more nuggets of clarification slipped out earlier this week, it's all now very clear — and it has the potential to be an absolute game changer for green charities favored by the 56-year-old director.

"Some percentage of the presumably-massive 'Avatar' sequel gross will go to charity," he said in a recent interview. "Fox has partnered with me to donate a chunk of the profits to environmental causes that are at the heart of the 'Avatar' world."

"Percentage of gross" and "chunk of profits" are huge statements that I believe have slipped under the media radar. Cameron and FOX have already gone beyond their 1 million tree planting initiative for the first "Avatar" — so it makes sense that they'd aim higher with the next two. But assigning a percentage to charity is just unheard of.

Consider this: The first "Avatar" grossed more than $2.7 billion worldwide. Dedicating even a small "chunk" of final box office numbers to funding environmental initiatives would be a huge donation. We've seen similar fundraisers using ticket sales before from Disneynature's documentary films, but nothing on this scale. It goes even deeper when you realize this applies to two films with the potential for record-breaking profits.

Of course, the next two films could be something awful — but history tells me that anticipation will be high and plenty of people worldwide will cough up cash for a return trip to Pandora. It's great to think that some of that green will benefit initiatives back here on Earth.

“Avatar 2” and “Avatar 3” will be released winter 2014 and 2015, respectively.

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

'Avatar' sequels to help fund green charities
James Cameron elaborates a bit more on his epic plan for the next two movies to benefit environmental initiatives.