The global box office for Disney’s “Avatar: The Way of Water” has surpassed $2 billion, making it the third James Cameron film to do so.
Only five other films have achieved this feat: “Avatar,” “Avengers: Endgame,” “Titanic,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and “Avengers: Infinity War.”
“The Way of Water” had earned $598 million in domestic ticket sales and $1.426 billion in foreign markets as of Sunday. The film is currently the sixth highest-grossing film of all time, and it is expected to rise in the rankings as its theatrical run continues.
“The film has now joined that very exclusive box office club and has made it look almost effortless,” Comscore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian said.
Following the pandemic, the box office struggled to recover as audiences shifted to more at-home viewing and fewer films were released in theatres. As the film industry recovers, films such as “The Way of Water” have demonstrated that audiences are eager to return for big blockbuster spectacles. Many are also willing to pay for premium showings such as IMAX or large format screens, which are often more expensive.
While “The Way of Water” performed less well than expected in China due to an increase in Covid numbers and hospitalisations caused by the virus, it did well in France, Germany, and Korea.
Reaching $2 billion is a good sign for the Avatar franchise, which has three more instalments planned over the next five years. It also meets Cameron’s previous prediction that the film would need to be the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history just to break even.
“Keeping in line with Cameron’s ‘king of the box office world’ career trajectory, it should come as no surprise that the director’s vision for the world of Pandora is now undeniably assured and given the stamp of approval by enthusiastic fans around the world,” Dergarabedian said.
The film’s production budget is unknown, but estimates range from $250 million to $350 million, not including marketing costs.
“The Way of Water” should continue to generate box office receipts indefinitely because it will face no direct competition in theatres until mid-February, when Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” another Disney production, is released.