“Avatar: The Way of Water” continues to dominate the holiday box office.
James Cameron’s epic adventure has now hit the $1.17 billion mark worldwide, becoming the third highest-grossing film of the Pandemic era, behind “Spider-Man: No Way Home” with $1.9 billion and “Top Gun: Maverick” with $1.5 billion.
On Wednesday, “Avatar: The Way of Water” grossed $20 million domestically, bringing its stateside total to $358 million. It added $47.9 million to the pot from international markets. This puts its overseas total at $810.6 million. It now ranks as the highest-grossing international release of the year.
But the “Avatar” sequel carries a hefty price tag. Cameron suggested that to break even, “Avatar: The Way of Water” would need to be one of the highest-grossing films in history. Sources close to the production claim he was being a bit hyperbolic and set the break-even figure closer to $1.4 billion – a milestone the sequel has a good chance of achieving.
“Avatar: The Way of Water” focuses on the Sully clan as they encounter a group of invaders that threaten the harmony of their mystical home planet Pandora. Cameron developed new technology that allowed him to shoot performance capture sequences underwater, and the cast learned to free dive so they could hold their breath during extended action scenes.
“Avatar: The Way of Water” brings back Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang and Sigourney Weaver, stars of the first “Avatar.” It also stars franchise newcomer Kate Winslet, who previously starred in Cameron’s “Titanic,” another water-based epic that defied the odds to become a box office sensation.