The recent plunge in Disney stock could be because Avatar: The Way of Water earned less in its opening weekend than originally predicted.
Disney stock dropped almost $5 following the release weekend of Avatar: The Way of Water and has yet to recover. Avatar: The Way of Water is the sequel to the 2009 hit Avatar, and includes new cast members like Kate Winslet and Cliff Curtis. The science fiction film franchise is set in the 22nd century on a fictional planet, Pandora, and was created by James Cameron. The franchise will be followed by three more sequels, which will arrive far sooner than Avatar: The Way of Water did after the original. In fact, Avatar 2, 3 and some of 4 were filmed simultaneously.
Following the release of Avatar: The Way of Water, Disney stock took a plummet, dropping from $90.04 per share at the beginning of opening weekend to closing at $85.76 on December 19, per The Wrap. Due to the massive success of the first Avatar in 2009, its sequel was projected to make $525 million worldwide in its first weekend. However, the film only grossed $441 million, which some believe could be the cause of Disney’s stock dropping. Disney’s stock has recovered slightly, as it currently stands at $86.67 at the time of writing, but it’s still pretty close to the 52-week low of $84.69. Comparatively, Disney stock’s 52-week high is $160.32.
How Much Avatar 2 Needs To Make To Be Considered A Success
Though Avatar: The Way of Water’s release is far from unremarkable – for example, it has already made more than Black Adam’s entire time in theaters – it will still need to keep performing well throughout its theatrical run. Cameron recently claimed The Way of Water will need to break the original Avatar’s current box office record of $2.2 billion in order to break even, or be considered a success in many eyes. With the cost of producing the current sequel, marketing the film and the money already invested in the planned follow-ups, Avatar: The Way of Water needs to break records to meet expectations. Clearing $2 billion seems to be the current goal, but only time will tell if it hits that.
Cameron’s 13-year hiatus between releasing films could be a potential problem with Avatar: The Way of Water’s release, but the break was necessary. The filmmaker recently commented on the pressure of Avatar‘s sequels, and even considered not making them at all. Some critics worried the break may have an effect on how the sequel is received. However, Avatar: The Way of Water has already earned $609 million worldwide, and its total is still climbing.
Avatar 2 Could Still Be A Box Office Hit
Avatar: The Way of Water’s opening weekend earnings have already surpassed the original Avatar’s opening, with a 74% increase without inflation. The film’s initial projections were ambitious, even for a franchise so successful, and its opening weekend was far from disappointing. Even though Avatar: The Way of Water did not hit its projected target, it could still earn enough to please Disney shareholders. Most importantly, the long-awaited sequel has not yet hit the holiday movie theater rush. The next two weekends will be a great opportunity for the film to earn more at the box office. The original Avatar broke records through word of mouth and its longevity in theaters, and Avatar: The Way of Water could mimic its success by doing the same.
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Source: The Wrap