The Way of Water Global Box Office Passes $1.4 Billion

Jan 7, 2023

Home Movie News ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Passes $1.4 Billion at the Global Box Office

‘The Way of Water’ is now the 13th-biggest movie of all time.

Image via 20th Century Studios

Before the release of Avatar: The Way of Water, director James Cameron stated that they’d know if the film was a hit only by the third weekend. “You’re not going to know by the first weekend,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “Titanic didn’t work that way. Avatar didn’t work that way.” And he was right; both those movies were written off prior to release, and their relatively muted openings didn’t quite instill confidence. But they went on to become all-time blockbusters, cementing Cameron as the undisputed king of the box office. And now that The Way of Water has been in theaters for three weekends, the verdict is pretty much in. Folks have given it an enthusiastic stamp of approval, despite what you might hear about the franchise’s lack of meme-ability and non-existent cultural relevance.

With $444 million at the domestic box office and $956 million from overseas markets, The Way of Water’s global haul now sits at a staggering $1.401 billion. The film actually showed a 6% improvement over the previous weekend, with $66.8 million as compared to the $63.3 million that it had made in its sophomore weekend.

Cameron was right; his movies tend to chart their own unique paths at the box office. In an era where big tent-poles are all mostly front-loaded, The Way of Water simply refuses to drop. This can be attributed to a complete lack of competition, but also the fact that the movie — like most of Cameron’s movies — has repeat value.

Image via 20th Century Studios

RELATED: ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’s Box Office Is Big, But Is It Big Enough?

The first Avatar famously opened to rather low figures back in 2009 — it made around $77 million in its first weekend — before showing phenomenal legs over the holiday period and into 2010, ultimately concluding its run as the highest-grossing movie in history. It overtook another Cameron hit, Titanic, for the number one spot. Counting the many millions it has made through re-releases over the years, the first Avatar’s final tally sits at $785 million stateside and $2.9 billion globally.

The chances of The Way of Water hitting those figures are slim; recent projections put the film’s final global gross between $1.6 billion and $1.9 billion. This should put it above Top Gun: Maverick’s $1.48 billion haul, making it the biggest film of 2022, and also earning it a spot on the top 10 all-time list. If it manages to top $1.9 billion, it’ll overtake Spider-Man: No Way Home as the highest-grossing movie of the pandemic era. Cameron had also declared that The Way of Water would have to finish as the third or fourth-biggest movie in history to break even, implying that anything below $2 billion globally would be a matter of concern for the franchise’s future. However, other reports suggest that the actual break-even point for the film is around $1.4 billion, meaning that the movie is in the black now.

Set a decade after the events of the first film, The Way of Water introduces audiences to the water tribes of Pandora, marking a visual shift from the tropical forest setting of the first film. Cameron used state-of-the-art motion capture technology to bring underwater Pandora to life, and also experimented with fluctuating High Frame Rate tech in an effort to enhance the immersive nature of certain sequences.

The Way of Water has a clear path ahead of it — at least until February’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania — which means that $2 billion-plus finish might not be out of the question. You can watch our interview with producer Jon Landau here, and stay tuned to Collider for more updates.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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