Coming out of this weekend, by mid-week, Disney/20th Century Studios/Lightstorm’s Avatar: The Way of Water will easily surpass The Avengers as the No. 10 highest-grossing movie ever in U.S./Canada with $623.3M. The James Cameron-directed pic has made $15.7M in its seventh straight No. 1 weekend streak. Avatar 2‘s seven-weekend run at No. 1 ties with the original Avatar and the Henry Fonda-Katherine Hepburn multi-Oscar-winning movie, On Golden Pond.
By the end of today, Avatar 2 at $620.58M flies past Star Wars: The Last Jedi‘s domestic take of $620.1M as the 11th-highest grossing movie of all-time in the U.S./Canada. With a worldwide take now of $2.116 billion, Avatar 2 is the 4th-highest global release of all-time, having passed Force Awakens’ $2.07 billion, putting Cameron with the top three of the of top 4 movies of all-time: Avatar No. 1 ($2.9 billion), Titanic No. 3 ($2.19 billion) and Way of Water No. 4. Avengers: Endgame is No. 2 worldwide with $2.799B.
Among all the Oscar-nominated Best Pictures this year, the 4x nominated Avatar 2 is really the only movie expected to make buckets of money heading into Oscar night on March 12 (however, A24’s 11-Oscar nominated Everything Everywhere All at Once cleared $1M this weekend in rerelease — and it’s available to watch on Showtime). All of Avatar 2‘s money here isn’t technically from its Best Picture momentum, a rather blockbuster force in the marketplace. Avatar 2 still has all its Imax and a big chunk of PLF. I hear they cede their Dolby screens to Universal’s Knock at the Cabin next weekend, that movie hopefully providing a little lift to the sleepy winter box office with a $17M-$20M start. The domestic box office for 2023 goes into overdrive starting Presidents Day weekend, with the $120M 4-day start of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
With no major studio wide theatrical releases this weekend, all films are looking at around a $71.2M take, which is up a great +103% from a year ago, when the marketplace was shackled by Omicron, all titles grossing $35M.
Among those distributors and pics taking advantage of a frame where there aren’t any new major studio titles:
Yash Raj’s Indian spy pic Pathaan from Siddharth Anand looks to open to $5.95M at 695 locations in 162 markets. The movie in Hindi, Tamil, & Telugu had a Wednesday start and should file $8.5M by EOD today. Movie saw pretty strong numbers in Toronto, NYC, Chicago, Dallas, Vancouver, San Francisco, and Seattle. The movie follows an Indian spy who takes on the leader of a group of mercenaries, they having nefarious plans to target his homeland.
Fathom Events’ Left Behind: Rise of the Antichrist from Kevin Sorbo grossed $2.97 M at 1,362 theaters. The movie played the Faith-based belt of the South and Midwest, where eight of the top ten runs came from. The only L.A. theater to make the list was Burbank. Logline: The only light after the world falls into chaos is a charming new leader who rises to the head of the UN. But does he bring hope for a better future? Or is it the end of the world?
NEON/Topic Studio’s Sundance midnight premiere Infinity Pool from Brandon Cronenberg settled on a $2.72M opening at 1,835 theaters. While the Sundance director’s cut was NC-17 with scenes of orgies, breastfeeding, and several scenes to make one blush, the theatrical cut is R. That $3M start is better than Papa David Cronenberg’s $1.1M opening this past summer for his Cannes premiere Crimes of the Future, also from NEON, and it’s better than that pic’s lifetime domestic of $2.4M.
Though 88% fresh among critics, the Alexander Skarsgard, Mia Goth, Cleopatra Coleman movie got a C- Cinemascore with audiences and 52% among Comscore/Screen Engine PostTrak audiences, who gave it a lowly 28% recommend. Mostly guys here at 60% and 67% between 18-34. Diversity demos were 57% Caucasian, 24% Latino and Hispanic, 11% Asian/other, and 8% Black. The movie did its business on the coasts, where nine of the top ten theaters are. Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar in Austin ranked No. 7. I’m told ticket sales dropped off the deeper one looked into the best markets of NYC, LA, Chicago, Dallas, and Philly.
WellGoUSA’s release of Chinese sequel Wandering Earth II in 61 markets had solid numbers in NYC, LA, Boston, San Francisco, Toronto, and Vancouver with $1.3M. The movie cracked close to $70M in its opening over the Lunar New Year last weekend. The movie has amassed over $352M in China in its first week. Wow.
Trafalgar’s release of Billie Eilish: Live at the 02 is around the same amount, with $1.29M-$1.3M at 600 locations in 143 markets in a one-night only event. The movie delivered inside and outside big cities.
Chart is updating with Sunday numbers…
1. Avatar 2(Dis) 3,600 (-190) theaters Fri $3.57M (-24%), 3-day $15.7M (-22%), Total $620.5M/Wk
2. Puss in Boots 2 (Uni) 3,452 (-159) theaters Fri $2.4 (-13%), Sat $4.99M, Sun $3.19M, 3-day $10.6M (-10%), Total $140.8M/Wk 6
This Dreamworks sequel is now $8.46M from beating the original 2011 Puss in Boots film, which ended its domestic run at $149.2M. Through its 6th weekend, Puss in Boots 2 is officially ahead of Sing 2 at the same point in time by 4.8%. Sing 2 ended its domestic run at $162.7M.
3.) A Man Called Otto (Sony) 3,957 (+155) theaters, Fri $1.95M, Sat $3.1M, Sun $1.6M, 3 day $6.75M (-23%), Total $46M, Wk 5
4.) M3GAN (Uni/Blum) 3,416 (-212) theaters, Fri $1.64M (-38%), Sat $3.05M, Sun $1.68M, 3 day $6.37M (-34%), Total $82.2M/Wk 4
5.) Pathaan (Yash) 694 theaters, Fri $1.858M, Sat $2.86M Sun $1.2M 3-day $5.95M, Total $8.5M/Wk 1
6.) Missing (Sony) 3,025 theaters Fri $1.55M (-54%), Sat $2.7M Sun $1.4M 3-day $5.675M (-38%), Total $17.5M/Wk 2
7.) Plane (LG) Fri $1.06M (-32%), Sat $1.88M Sun $873k 3 day $3.8M (-28%), Total $25.3M/Wk 3
8.) Left Behind: Rise…(FATH) 1,362 theaters, Fri $1.3M, Sat $948K, Sun $712K, 3day $2.97M/Wk 1
9.) Infinity Pool (NEON) 1,835 theaters Fri $1.1M, Sat $910K, Sun $685K, 3-day $2.72M/Wk 1
10.) Wandering Earth II (Well) 142 theaters, Fri $372K, Sat $625K Sun $358K 3-day $1.355M/Total $3M (with previews)Wk 1
11.) Billie Eilish (Traf) 596 Fri $1.29M, 1-day $1.29M/Wk 1