Avatar 2 Box Office Collection: With $1.48 billion and growing, “The Way of Water” hopes to continue doing well at the box office well into the coming year.
“Avatar: The Way of Water” by Disney/20th Century has surpassed “Top Gun: Maverick” to become the year’s highest-grossing release. We’ll see how far the blockbuster sequel can go this weekend as the box office enters the post-holiday period.
This weekend’s only new wide release, Universal/”M3GAN,” Blumhouse’s, is expected to open at between $17 and $22 million thanks to significant interest from female moviegoers under the age of 25. “Avatar 2” should comfortably grab the top spot once more. That should be more than enough to result in a successful theatrical run, even with “Avatar 2” providing as significant holdover competition given Blumhouse’s low-budget plan.
However, as of New Year’s weekend, James Cameron’s great blue monster, which has made $447 million domestically and $1.44 billion globally, will be a major attraction. “M3GAN” may be the most well-known new film between now and Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” in mid-February. Thus “The Way of Water” can surpass a $2 billion global gross.
That $2 billion is even somewhat feasible demonstrates how huge of a hit “Avatar” is on a worldwide scale 13 years after its release. When COVID-19 surges kneecapped movie theatres in the major Asian market, it seemed more likely that the final total for “Avatar 2” would probably be somewhere between $1.75 billion and $2 billion, in the neighbourhood of the $1.9 billion total that “Spider-Man: No Way Home” legged out to a year ago. Before its release, it was anticipated that the movie would need strong numbers from China to reach that rare milestone.
However, anything could change based on the results this weekend. There will probably be a lower weekend-to-weekend hold than what “Avatar 2” showed between the Christmas and New Year’s weekends because people will be returning to work, and kids will be returning to school after the holiday break.
That is exactly what happened when the original “Avatar” was released in early 2010, although its holds were still unusually strong for a holiday release in early January. After dropping by 9% from Christmas to New Year’s weekend, it dropped by 26% the next weekend on January 8 and didn’t decrease by more than 40% again for the following two months.
With “No Way Home” and “Top Gun: Maverick,” we saw how a movie that piques the interest of millions of viewers worldwide to watch it on a big screen several times can generate income in theatres for months, even in a time when streaming has eliminated the 90-day theatrical window as a common practise.
A hold for “Avatar 2” from Friday to Sunday of less than 50%, or at least $35 million, would be considered successful. When “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” is released, the movie is quite likely to have a domestic total of at least $650 million and very potentially even approach $700 million if the hold is less than 30%, or $45 million.
At that point, “The Way of Water” will probably see a significant decline in its weekend numbers. Still, when combined with the likelihood of strong continued overseas earnings—where South Korea, France, and Germany are all expected to post box office totals above $100 million—a scenario emerges in which James Cameron becomes the first director to ever produce three $1 billion box office hits.
You can watch “Avatar 2: The Way of Water” on Disney Plus.