When “Avatar” came out in 2009, it only had a $77 million domestic opening but went on to become the highest-grossing film of all time. Thirteen years later, when the sequel “Avatar: The Way of Water” was released, it opened with $134 million, which is not all that great an opening by today’s standards. Many people started doubting the sequel’s fate; many people even blamed the non-pop-cultural impact of the first installment. But within a matter of days, Cameron closed everyone’s mouth when “Avatar: The Way of Water” outgrossed “Top Gun: Maverick” and became the highest-grossing film of 2022.
Usually, big event films these days get a massive opening but fall sharply (by 65% or more) on their second weekends. But James Cameron’s films are known for their longevity and strong week-to-week hold. Showing a similar pattern to “Titanic” and “Avatar,” the newest film from Cameron also showed a great hold on its second weekend, dropping only 52.8%. But, to everyone’s shock, “Avatar: The Way of Water” has not just seen a zero drop on its third weekend, but in fact, its business has seen a 6.4% growth, a rare feat in box office history.
“Avatar: The Way of Water” collected $63.3 million domestically on its second weekend from 4202 theaters. The per theater average was a staggering $15073/theater. The film also topped on its third weekend and saw a rare growth of a whopping 6.4%, earning $67.4 Million domestically. The per-theater average also went up significantly ($16402/theater). The third weekend of “Avatar: The Way of Water” is the third-highest of all time.
|Film||Third Weekend Gross|
|Star Wars: The Force Awakens||$90241673|
|Avatar: The Way of Water||$67409155|
The film also shocked the trade analysts across the world when it made more money on its third Friday than its second, a mammoth 27% growth from Friday to Friday. By the end of the third weekend, “Avatar: The Way of Water” had made $464.9 million domestically and $1.05 billion overseas to collect $1.51 billion at the global box office and had outgrossed “Top Gun: Maverick” ($1.48 billion). “Avatar: The Way of Water” is now the highest-grossing film of 2022, and James Cameron has now become the only filmmaker to have three films with a $1.5 billion collection.
In India also, the film is doing exceptional business. It opened with 129 crores in the first weekend box office collection. On its third weekend, it collected 9.25 crores, 11.75 crores, and 18 crores on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, respectively. “Avatar: The Way of Water” became the biggest third-week collector (45 crores) in India, doubling the record of the previous best “Avengers: Endgame” (21.70 crores). This shows how front-loaded Marvel films are. Cameron’s sequel has such strong legs that, in its third week, it collected more than the previous two record holders’ (“Avengers Endgame” and “Jungle Book”) collections combined. By day 21, the film had earned 354.05 crores in the net collection, beating Bollywood biggies like “PK,” “Sanju,” “Sultan,” etc., and quickly approaching the collections of “Avengers: Endgame” (373 crores) and “Dangal” (387 crores). But in terms of gross collection, by day 24, “Avatar: The Way of Water” (450 crores) has now beaten “Avengers: Endgame” to become the highest-grossing Hollywood film in India.
On its fourth weekend also, “Avatar: The Way of Water” maintained its stronghold and dropped only 33%, earning $33 million at the domestic box office. After the 4th weekend was over, “Avatar: The Way of Water” collected $516.7 million at the domestic box office, making it the 16th highest-grossing film of all time domestically, and the film collected $1.19 billion from overseas. This brings the global total to a whopping $1.7 billion, and “Avatar: The Way of Water” thus beats out “The Avengers,” “The Lion King,” and “Jurassic World” to become the 7th highest-grossing film of all time.
|Rank||Film||Worldwide Box Office|
|4||Star Wars: The Force Awakens||$2,069,521,700|
|5||Avengers Infinity War||$2,048,359,754|
|6||Spider-Man: No Way Home||$1,916,306,995|
|7||Avatar: The Way of Water||$1,713,093,812|
|9||The Lion King||$1,663,075,401|
On its 4th weekend, “Avatar: The Way of Water” collected $16.5 million from China; 55% of total nationwide cinema revenue came from the “Avatar” sequel. The total box office collection from China is now $188.3 million. We will now look at the top five highest-earning countries for this movie other than the United States.
|Country||Gross Collection (in Million dollars)|
India is not far behind either in terms of steady box office collections. On its 4th weekend, the film earned four crores, 6.05 crores, and 7.5 crores on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, respectively. Without any competition, the film has been running successfully in India for 25 days now and has earned a massive 374.5 crores in the net collection, dethroning “Avengers: Endgame” as the highest-earning Hollywood film in India. The film quickly marches towards “Dangal” (387 crores), “KGF Chapter 2 – Hindi” (434 crores), and “Baahubali: The Conclusion – Hindi” (512 crores).
Nobody can predict how much gas is left for this film. But it is safe to say that it will easily cross $2 billion in worldwide collections within a few days. That will make Cameron the only filmmaker to have three $2 billion-earning films on his resume. With no real competition at the present time and the next big film (“Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania”) still more than a month away, it’s pretty obvious that the “force” is very strong with Cameron’s “Way of Water.”
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