February 5, 2023

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‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ grossed $1.89 billion worldwide

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James Cameron’s sci-fi blockbuster “Avatar: The Way of Water” is close to surpassing another box office behemoth, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” on the all-time charts.

As of Sunday, “The Way of Water” has grossed $1.893 billion worldwide, making it the seventh-highest-grossing film in history. With these ticket sales, Disney and the 20th century futuristic sequel are about $22 million away from Sony’s latest Spidey adventure and its strong $1.91 billion global haul. “Avatar 2” will cross that threshold to become the sixth-biggest film in the coming days.

Through ticket sales, “The Way of Water” made $563 million in North America and $1.3 billion internationally five weeks after its release. It is the 13th highest-grossing film at the domestic box office, surpassing “The Lion King” ($543.6 million), “The Dark Knight” ($535 million) and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” ($533.5 million). Overseas, the movie ranked as the fifth-highest-grossing release behind only the original “Avatar,” “Avengers: Endgame,” “Titanic” and “Avengers: Infinity War.” Still, it’s close to edging out “Infinity War,” which placed fourth with $1.370 billion.

Outside of North America, the top-grossing regions include China ($211.8 million), France ($120.5 million), Germany ($106.9 million) and Korea ($92.7 million). Not every market is reconnecting with Na’vi. The follow-up is underperforming in Russia, where the original grossed $116 million, and it’s floundering in Japan with $26 million, a huge drop from the first film, which earned $176 million in the country.

At this pace, “Avatar 2” is close to crossing $2 billion worldwide, an almost impossible benchmark in the time of Covid. Even “No Way Home” fell shy of that particular milestone, but that’s because the superhero sequel didn’t play in China, a major market for Marvel movies. Only five movies in history — “Avatar,” “Avengers: Endgame,” “Titanic,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Avengers: Infinity War” — have surpassed $2 billion. When “The Way of Water” joins the club, Cameron will direct two of the six biggest movies of all time.

The long-delayed sequel to 2009’s “Avatar” has thrived in theaters since opening in December with $134 million in North America and $435 million worldwide. It cost approximately $460 million to produce and market, making it one of the most expensive films ever made.

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