Much like its 2009 predecessor, Avatar: The Way of Water grosses over $1 billion at the global box office less than two weeks after its release.
Another James Cameron movie swims in cash at the box office as his much-anticipated project, Avatar: The Way of Water, surpasses $1 billion in ticket sales less than two weeks after its theatrical release.
As confirmed by BoxOfficeGuru.com founder and editor Gitesh Pandya, the Avatar sequel’s projected billion-dollar status has become official. The 13-years-in-the-making epic sci-fi sequel has grossed over $300 million at the domestic box office and $700 million internationally to top the billion mark in one go. The movie, released on Dec. 16, was predicted shortly after its release to reach 10 figures over the holidays by many movie insiders.
Avatar: The Way of Water has a historically high bar to meet considering its 2009 predecessor, Avatar, is the highest-grossing film of all time, raking in over $2.92 billion to date. Though Cameron admitted his budget for the Avatar follow-up is bad business, it’s already netted the award-winning helmer a significant profit given the movie’s estimated costs lie anywhere between $360 and $450 million, including marketing costs.
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For Cameron, the film marks another historic achievement for him as Avatar: The Way of Water is his third film to pass $1 billion while boosting his status as the second highest-grossing film director ever behind Steven Spielberg. Alongside both of his Avatar movies, Cameron’s Oscar-winning epic romance and disaster, Titanic, is the third most successful flick of all time at the box office, earning over $2.2 billion. The Marvel movie Avengers: Endgame at $2.79 billion is sandwiched between Cameron’s films among the top three. Time will tell if Avatar: The Way of Water earns the same award recognition as the original film, which was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Film Editing at the 82nd Academy Awards.
The numbers for Avatar: The Way of Water are impressive despite its underwhelming performance in China. After securing a rare release in the Asian nation, the film earned around $100 million as of Dec. 26, which was significantly below the projected $357 million the movie was expected to make during its run there. One Chinese film producer went as far as to declare the Avatar sequel wasn’t suitable for Chinese audiences, though most local critics have praised the film’s content and quality.
Avatar: The Way of Water stars various familiar faces from the first installment including Sam Worthington (Jake Sully), Zoë Saldaña (Neytiri), Sigourney Weaver (Kiri) and Stephen Lang (Colonel Quaritch), as well as Kate Winslet (Ronal) and Michelle Yeoh (Dr. Karina Mogue). The box office success of the sequel bodes well for the future of the franchise as Cameron previously announced there will be three more movies in the series with Avatar 3 set for a December 2024 release, Avatar 4 expected to come out in 2026 and Avatar 5 scheduled to drop in 2028. Cameron’s director’s cut for Avatar 3 has already made headlines for its reported nine-hour length, with rumors claiming he’s been pushing to add completed visual effects to the whole thing even before edits.