“Avatar 2” box office result: “Star Wars” has practically no chance

“Avatar: The Way of Water” needs to bring in an enormous amount of money to cover the costs – and is now almost at its goal.

Are “Avatar: The Way of Water” started in the cinemas, fans should be concerned with one question above all: is it enough? In order for filmmaker James Cameron to be able to realize his vision of the sci-fi saga he has created, the current part and “Avatar 3” must bring in enough money, otherwise the two subsequent sequels will be cancelled. And “enough money” is certainly not a little: it must be two billion US dollars in worldwide revenue, as Cameron himself suggested.

No film has ever managed to do that during the pandemic, the Marvel hit “Spider-Man: No Way Home” came in just short of $ 1.916 billion. In any case, only two other blockbusters have broken the magic hurdle of one billion US dollars since 2020: “Top Gun: Maverick” (1.488 billion US dollars) and most recently “Jurassic World: A New Age” (1.001 billion US dollars). Not the best omens, then, to make what is perhaps the most expensive film of all time profitable in cinema exploitation.

But obviously the blockbuster of the hour will actually succeed in this ambitious project. “Avatar: The Way of Water” crossed the hurdle of one billion US dollars in worldwide revenue just twelve days after the US start and 14 days after the German start.

In the meantime, the work can also boast the title “Most successful film of 2022”, because “Avatar: The Way of Water” is officially included $1.903 billion (via Box office mojo). The blockbuster has thus clearly left the previous leader of the past year, “Top Gun: Maverick”, behind – and is currently even up 7th highest grossing film of all time. The cinema hit has already beaten “Marvel’s The Avengers” ($1.518 billion), the remake of “The Lion King” ($1.656 billion) and “Jurassic World” ($1.671 billion). The loser is “Fast & Furious 7”, whose worldwide earnings of 1.516 billion US dollars are no longer enough for the top 10.

And there’s no end to the run for Avatar: The Way of Water in sight as James Cameron’s latest prank continues to rake in millions a day. The hurdle of two billion US dollars is likely to be exceeded this week. This would put the film at number 6 in the best list, where “Spider-Man: No Way Home” currently stands with 1.916 billion US dollars. “Avengers: Infinity War” ($2.048 billion) is also likely to lose out soon and then Cameron could even target his own hit “Titanic” ($2.187 billion) and thus number 3. Then the film would have overtaken “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ($2.069 billion), which is likely to happen given that weekly sales remain at a good $200 million. It is questionable how long the staying power of “The Way of Water” really is, because there is still a long way to go to number 1: The first “Avatar” film has worldwide revenues of 2.922 billion US dollars; albeit also thanks to some re-releases in cinemas.

“The Way of Water” breaks German cinema records

In Germany, “The Way of Water” managed the feat of even becoming the most successful film of 2022. In just two weeks, the blockbuster sold more tickets in this country than the previous leader “Minions – In Search of the Mini Boss”, which speaks volumes about the enormous interest in the film.

This also becomes clear in view of the latest record: After the “Avatar” sequel had the best fourth cinema weekend of all time (15.5 million euros, 1.13 million tickets sold), the film now has the best fifth weekend of all time after – but only in terms of sales. “The Way of Water” brought in 10.3 million euros in this country, how Focus: movie reported. The blockbuster has now grossed 100.5 million euros in Germany, making it the third most successful film of all time in Germany. Two million euros are still missing, then he has also overtaken “The Awakening of Power” and James Cameron would then actually make the three most successful German cinema films of all time. It’s not without reason that he’s called the master of blockbusters.

Avatar: The Way of Water does not suffer from Marvel issue

Of course, the US market is much more important, where “Avatar: The Way of Water” fell well short of expectations at the start with 134 million US dollars. After all, it was “only” the fifth best US debut of the year, on par with The Batman. The DC film ended up grossing $770 million globally, but the “Avatar” sequel has already grossed more than double that.

The second US weekend was $56 million in revenue (via Box office mojo) at first glance perhaps not outstanding. But an important insight was hidden in it: “Avatar: The Way of Water” is significantly more persistent than the big Marvel films. Because compared to the first US weekend, James Cameron’s epic lost only 58% in sales, worldwide only 42%; in France and South Korea only 7%. Those are strong numbers, Marvel movies tend to lose around 70% of sales in the US after the first week.

“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”, for example, had the best opening weekend of the year before “The Way of Water”, but with 955 million US dollars it fell just short of the one billion mark. The Marvel hit suffered from the fact that although it started strong, it quickly ran out of breath: On the second US weekend, its revenues collapsed by a good 67%.

Like Deadline in a first analysis noted, with the Avatar sequel in particular, audiences are keen to see it in the best possible way. Sigourney Weaver also advises you this in our interview:

That speaks for “Avatar 2”

The now almost cursed 3D is a must for “Avatar: The Way of Water”, since real 3D was used here and not the subsequently converted version. If you can, you should definitely enjoy the film in an IMAX cinema, because this is where the visual power comes into its own and that is the greatest strength of the sequel, as you can also see from our “Avatar 2” review. According to Box Office Mojo, “Avatar: The Way of Water” derived 62% of its launch revenue from 3D, IMAX and similar special screenings. Accordingly, many viewers are willing to wait longer for a screening if it allows them the best possible viewing experience.

This theatrical release can hardly be compared with Marvel crackers, which bring in enormous sums, especially in the first few days, and then quickly drop off. “Avatar – Aufbruch nach Pandora” showed 13 years ago that the duck is fat on the back. The film opened in the US on its first weekend with a modest gross of just $77 million. After that, the film stayed in the cinema charts for months and steadily culminated in millions of dollars, making it the most successful film of all time. It probably won’t be that extreme with “The Way of Water”. After all, as a sequel, the film only needs word of mouth to a limited extent to convey to the general public that they can expect a worthwhile cinema experience here and the start was already 74% more successful than that of the first part.

Accordingly, “Avatar: The Way of Water” can also look forward to solid sales for weeks due to the IMAX and 3D factor, after all these cards are particularly expensive. As always in such cases, an important aspect is whether people go to the cinema more than once. Streaming has drastically reduced this important source of income, as many simply wait a few weeks or months after the first viewing to relax and watch a film again at home. The “Avatar” sequel seems to be relatively resilient here, however, simply because it’s just so strongly over the show ratings. Many may be willing to pay the price of a second ticket to see the epic world of Pandora once again on a giant screen rather than just at home on the TV.

By the way, if you can’t get enough of the sci-fi franchise, you can rewatch Avatar on Disney+ or dive into the official Avatar comics that bridge the gap between parts 1 and 2 via Amazon shut down.

Avatar Quiz: How Well Do You Know James Cameron’s Science Fiction Movie?

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