After 10 days on the big screen, Disney and the big-budget epic of the 20th century “Avatar: The Way of Water” is the fifth-highest-grossing film of the year with worldwide ticket sales of $855 million.
So far, James Cameron’s long-delayed sequel has earned $253.7 million at the domestic box office and $600 million internationally. Even with harsh winter weather in North America and rising cases of COVID, RSV and flu around the world, the “Avatar” sequel is expected to bring strong grosses in the coming days. By the end of the year, the $350 million budget tentpole aims to hit the $1 billion mark. It’s a benchmark that only two movies, “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Jurassic World Domination,” managed to hit in 2022.
Outside North America, “Avatar 2” enjoyed the strongest voter turnout in China with $100.5 million, followed by Korea with $53 million, France with $52.3 million, India with $37 million and Germany with $35.7 million. There are many reasons why the follow-up film struggled to reach the heights of its predecessor, the highest-grossing release in history with $2.97 billion worldwide. For one, the global box office has not fully recovered from the pandemic, and important markets such as China are experiencing a resurgence of the virus. Furthermore, the sequel will not be played in Russia, where the original grossed $116 million.
Imax contributed a significant portion of worldwide ticket sales, with $97 million coming from the company’s premium screens. Like the original, expensive Imax and 3D tickets are expected to boost “Avatar 2’s” overall earnings.
“‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ is showing strong resilience at the global box office that we expected, especially with its strong performance internationally where several key markets increased their returns over the weekend,” said IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond. “Our screens remain the preferred destination to experience this one-of-a-kind film.”