January 30, 2023

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‘Avatar 2’ Box Office Crosses $1.4 Billion Worldwide

2 min read

James Cameron’s “Avatar: The Way of Water” had a big New Year’s holiday at the box office, earning $86.3 million over the four-day weekend. Through New Year’s Day, the blockbuster sequel had grossed $444.4 million in North America and nearly $1.4 billion worldwide.

“The Way of Water” has been strong since its release, dropping just 8% in its third weekend in theaters. In the traditional three-day period, the movie brought in $66.8 million, a 4% increase from its sophomore outing.

With its worldwide ticket sales, “Avatar 2” stands as the 14th-highest global release in history, just ahead of “Black Panther” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.” After just three weeks, it’s already on pace to overtake Paramount and Tom Cruise’s box office smash “Top Gun: Maverick” ($1.488 billion) as the top-grossing movie released in 2022.

Elsewhere on the domestic box office charts, Universal’s “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” a sequel from the “Shrek” universe, took second place. The animated family film took in $22.5 million in the extended holiday frame, up 17% from last weekend. So far, “Puss in Boots 2” has collected $66.9 million.

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” landed in third place, adding $6.5 million over four days and bringing its domestic tally to $439 million. Worldwide, Disney and Marvel’s superhero sequel grossed $820 million. By comparison, the original “Black Panther” ended its theatrical run in 2018 with $1.3 billion worldwide.

The holiday releases “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “Babylon” peaked at number four and five, respectively. Sony’s Whitney Houston biopic brought in $4.8 million between Friday and Monday, bringing its North American total to $15.4 million.

Meanwhile, Paramount and director Damien Chazelle’s showbiz epic “Babylon” posted $3.3 million for a New Year’s holiday weekend total of $10.7 million. The movie, which stars Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt as silent-era movie stars, cost $80 million; It stood to lose a lot in its theatrical run.

“Avatar: The Way of Water” is expected to be a top draw throughout January, which will be necessary to justify its hefty price tag. Cameron estimates that the $350 million-budgeted movie (not including at least $100 million in marketing fees) should generate roughly $2 billion, though analysts believe the profit threshold is likely closer to $1.5 billion. As a plus, it looks set to hit that benchmark within days.

The original “Avatar” was released in 2009 and stands as the highest-grossing release in history with $2.97 billion worldwide. The follow-up film, which debuted 13 years later after many, many delays, will struggle to get made that A lot of money because the global box office hasn’t fully recovered from the pandemic. Moreover, China, a major theatrical market, is experiencing a resurgence of Covid and Russia, another major region, will not have access to the film.

“Avatar” stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang and Sigourney Weaver return for the sequel, which follows the Sully family as they go underwater to battle the elements and keep the Na’vi safe from humans. Cliff Curtis, Kate Winslet and Edie Falco round out the cast.

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