This one surely puts a grin on the face of James Cameron. Because in just a matter of two weeks, Avatar: The Way of Water has achieved a global box office of more than $1 billion making it the fastest movie of 2022 to reach this impressive milestone, according to a report published by Variety. Though making it to the $1 Billion Club is not a feat reserved only for the said sequel, it is the only film that managed to come up to the top in just a couple of weeks. It was only surpassed by last year’s Spider-Man: No Way Home when it hit the coveted mark in 12 days.
James Cameron’s highly anticipated sequel to Avatar (2009), which was released in mid-December, has already generated a total of $1.025 billion in global box office receipts. The film opened with $134 million in North America and $435 million globally and has continued to perform well in the weeks since its release. It has earned $317.1 million in North America and $712.7 million overseas, making it the second-highest-grossing movie of the year and the third-highest-grossing movie of this pandemic era, even exceeding that of Jurassic World: Dominion and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
While the original Avatar remains the highest-grossing film of all time with a global box office of $2.97 billion, it is unlikely that the long-awaited sequel (released 13 years later), will be able to reach those same heights due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic on the global box office market.
And to recoup its costs, Avatar: The Way of Water must continue to perform well at the box office all the way towards the new year. The film has an estimated budget of $350 million (not including marketing costs of at least $100 million) and is expected to need to bring in around $2 billion in order to break even, according to film writer and director James Cameron. However, analysts believe that the actual threshold for profitability for the film may be closer to $1.5 billion.
With such a price tag in producing the film, it’s understandable if there is a significant amount of pressure for this sequel to perform well at the box office. Other than its large budget, it is also the first of three planned sequels in the Avatar series with Avatar 3 slated to be released in 2024. Needless to say, the success of this film will be crucial in determining the future of the franchise.
The cast of Avatar: The Way of Water includes returning actors Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Sigourney Weaver, as well as newcomers Stephen Lang, Kate Winslet, Edie Falco, and Jemaine Clement. The film follows the Sully family as they confront the challenges of living underwater while also protecting the Na’vi from old and new threats.