‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Crosses Past ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ to Become Highest-Grossing Film of 2022!!
It’s undeniable that the stakes were sky-high for Avatar: The Way of Water given the cultural and box office heights attained by its predecessor. After a lengthy 13-year wait, the James Cameron epic finally hit theaters just a week before Christmas and it has already made a splash of its own.
The sci-fi motion picture depicted a stunning shift of scenery into Pandora’s underwater universe and has now taken the lead over Tom Cruise‘s Top Gun: Maverick — which grossed an impressive $1.49 billion at the global box office. Since then, Avatar: The Way of Water has performed swimmingly in its own right. The movie raked in $454 million domestically and confidently surpassed $1 billion internationally on Wednesday, thus bringing its global total to a breathtaking $1.51 billion, edging its way to the highest-grossing film of 2022, per The Hollywood Reporter. Adding to the list of accolades, Avatar: The Way of Water is now the tenth top-grossing film of all time, an impressive feat. At present, the film is just shy of its predicted gross range, which suggests the film will take between $1.6 billion and $1.9 billion globally.
Although a remarkable accomplishment, widespread reports suggest the break-even mark for the venture sits at around $1.4 billion which means it has just about crossed that line. Cameron even made a point of proclaiming the project “f–king expensive,” adding that it would need to become the “third or fourth highest-grossing film in history” to be profitable. Unsurprisingly, the film is still a way behind the groundbreaking 2009 original. In addition to reaching new heights never before seen in film with unseen graphics and technological advancement, it cemented its place in history forever as the first film ever to accumulate $2.9 billion at the lifetime box office.
But more than financials are riding on Avatar: The Way of Water‘s wave, namely, the future of the Avatar universe. Whilst a slate of sequels are already in the works, all the way up to a fifth installment, the prolific director has been clear that their reality is dependent on the audience’s reception to Avatar 2. If things do go as planned, there are exciting times ahead for the other movies, with a potential trip to Earth for Neyirtri (Zoe Saldaña) on the cards in Avatar 5. Whether or not Cameron‘s subsequent dreams for Pandora will come to fruition will be revealed with time.
Avatar: The Way of Water is in theaters now.
With $4.9 Billion Disney Tops 2022 at the Worldwide BO!!
Walt Disney wins 2022, at least in terms of box office grosses. It should come as no surprise that Disney had yet another strong year and finished No. 1 among studios at the box office both domestically and globally.
Disney ended the year with a grand total of $4.9 billion grossed worldwide and $2 billion domestic across the 16 theatrical releases of last year. This continues the lengthy streak that Disney has been on from 2016-2022 atop the year-end global box office.
Even if Top Gun: Maverick was the movie success story of 2022, topping both the single-movie domestic and worldwide box office charts, Disney still owned 40% of the top ten highest-grossing films in terms of domestic and global grosses due to its number of franchise releases including Avatar: The Way of Water (which has already grossed over $1.4 billion since coming out last month), Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($955 million worldwide/$411 million domestic), Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ($820 million worldwide/$439 million domestic) and Thor: Love and Thunder ($760 million worldwide, $343 million domestic).
To add to this accomplishment, only three of Disney’s films were released in China. Those were The Way of Water, Death on the Nile and Encanto (which was released in November 2021 stateside).
None of this comes as much of a surprise for Disney, as James Cameron’s long-awaited sequel to Avatar, The Way of Water, was always going to be a dominant force at the box office. In just two and a half weeks, The Way of Water grossed over $400 million at the domestic box office. That total haul only continues to grow past the holidays as it encounters no competition at the box office
Can Disney continue its streak atop the box office in 2023? The studio sure has a shot and will be aided by their dozen theatrical releases planned as of the time of this writing. Some of those include franchise fare such as Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania in February, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in May, the fifth Indiana Jones installment at the tail-end of June, and The Marvels in July. The studio will also offer original content such as Pixar’s latest film, Elemental, in June and another animated film, Wish, in November.
From the looks of it, 2023 will be another year dominated by the House of Mouse.
‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Entering New Year with $400+ Million at the BO!!
While New Year’s Eve is typically a better moviegoing day than Christmas Eve, business was still down yesterday at -27% from Friday for all movies. That’s a similar decline to last weekend’s Friday-to-Christmas Eve (-26%). However, New Year’s Eve made more than Christmas Eve, $27.9M to $22.2M. Moviegoing is expected to be +19% on New Year’s Day today, and there will be an extra cushion in Monday, Jan. 2, as many typically have off in honor of the Sunday holiday. Per our sources, weather wasn’t an issue this weekend.
Disney/20th/Lightstorm’s Avatar: The Way of Water did $18M yesterday, taking its running total to $400M. Revised 3-day is $63.4M (+2% from last weekend, great), and 4-day is $82.4M, for a new domestic cume by EOD Monday of $440.5M. If those Disney estimates stick, Avatar 2 will be $400K shy of Rogue One‘s running total through its first 18 days. It took Rogue One another two weeks before it crossed the half billion mark stateside, the pic’s final total being $532.1M.
Through end of Sunday, Disney is reporting a $1.37 billion running global total for Avatar 2. Also by Monday, the 3D spectacle will pass the running domestic box office of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ($439.6M). By hitting $400M yesterday, Avatar 2 officially becomes the third Disney title to cross that threshold after Black Panther 2 and Doctor Strange 2 for 2022.
Rivals got excited and over-forecasted Avatar 2 for the 3-day and 4-day stretch, believing Saturday would be a $19.6M-$19.8M day. Again, today and Monday could put the James Cameron-directed, Jon Landau-produced sequel back on course to wild money.
Imax auditoriums added $8.4M to this weekend’s gross, -6% from last weekend, and repping 13.2% of 3-day ticket sales. Imax has racked up $55.3M from Avatar 2 so far in North America.
Sony’s A Man Called Otto at four NYC and LA sites is looking at $60K for the 3-day ($15K theater average) and a 4-day of $75K.
The second weekend of United Artists Releasing’s Women Talking at 8 sites did $42K, +3%, with a 4-day of $53K and running total of $159K. Next weekend, the Sarah Polley-directed drama goes to 30 runs in ten markets, with another expansion on Jan. 13. The pic is 89% certified fresh with critics on Rotten Tomatoes, with an 88% audience score. Polley’s screenplay and composer Hildur Guðnadóttir’s score are up for Golden Globes on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
The rest of the weekend is as follows:
1) Avatar: The Way of Water (Dis/20th) 4,202 theaters, Fri $24.4M (+27%), Sat $18M Sun $21M Mon $18.95M 3-day $63.4M (+2%)/4-day $82.4M/Total: $440.5M/ Wk 3
2) Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (Uni) 4,121 (+22) theaters, Fri $6.5M (+70%) Sat $4.66M Sun $5.1M Mon $5.4M 3-day $16.3M (+31%), 4-day $21.7M/Total $66.1M/Wk 2
3) Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Dis) 2,310 (+60) theaters, Fri $1.82M (+82%) Sat $1.3M Sun $1.7M Mon $1.67M 3 day $4.83M (+38%)/4-day $6.5M/Total $439.6M/Wk 8
4) I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Sony) 3,625 theaters, Fri $1.46M (-27%) Sat $1.22M Sun $1.59M Mon $1.15M 3-day $4.25M (-11%) 4-day $5.4M/Total $16MWk 2
5) Babylon (Par) 3,351 (+8) theaters Fri $935K (-36%) Sat $730K Sun $1.06M Mon $900K 3-day $2.7M (-24%) 4-day $3.6M/Total $11M/Wk 2
6) Violent Night (Uni) 2,563 (+1) Fri $820K Sat $560K Sun $750K Mon $540K 3-day $2.1M (-39%) 4-day $2.67M Total $48M/Wk 5
7) The Whale (A24) 623 (+20) theaters, Fri $491,5K (+64%), Sat $372,9K Sun $466,1K Mon $419,5K 3-day $1.33M (+28%) 4-day $1.75M Total $6.2M/Wk 4
8) Fabelmans (Uni/Amb) 1,149 (+27) theaters, Fri $320K (+157%) Sat $400K Sun $420K Mon $360K 3 day $1.14M (+53%), 4-day $1.5M Total $12.5M/Wk 8
9)The Menu (Sea) 860 (+20) theaters, Fri $386K (+121%) Sat $279K Sun $405K Mon $330K 3-day $1.07M (+58%) 4-Day $1.4M Total $36.4M/Wk 7
10.) Strange World (Dis) 1,240 (-150) theaters, Fri $201K (+39%) Sat $157K Sun $180K Mon $209K 3-day $538K (+30%), 4-day $747K, Total $37.2M/Wk 6