Unsurprisingly, James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water continued its reign at the worldwide box office over the New Year’s holiday.
In fact, the sequel surpassed expectations after picking up $24.4 million on Sunday — the third-best New Year’s Day haul ever behind The Force Awakens ($34.3 million) and the original Avatar ($25.2 million), per Deadline. As such, Cameron’s epic collected $66.8 million (+6%) over the 3-day weekend and $86.3 million over the 4-day holiday to bring its domestic total to $444.4 million.
Even more impressive, Way of Water will surpass the 18-day total of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ($440.9 million), a title many in the industry used as a comp for Cameron’s film.
Internationally, Way of Water has accrued $956.9 million, which is enough to put the pic over the $1.4 billion mark globally, and less than $100 million away from overtaking Top Gun: Maverick as the top global earner of 2022 — and it’s only been two weeks.
On Imax, Avatar increased by 4% and earned $28.6 million to bring its 19-day total to $152.2 million, where it sits behind Avatar, The Force Awakens, and Avengers: Endgame in terms of money accrued on the large format.
Clearly, people are digging Avatar, and it’s just a question of how high this pic will fly before all is said and done. Is $2 billion on the table? Unless there’s an enormous drop-off in the upcoming weeks, there’s no reason to think Avatar can’t reach that milestone. Keep in mind there’s zero market competition for the next month and a half.
Meanwhile, Universal’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish earned $22.5 million over the holiday and propelled its domestic total to $66.9 million. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever increased by 38% over the 3-day frame and added another $4.83 million ($6.5 million 4-day) to its $439.6 million domestic haul.