2022’s Avatar: The Way of Water passes $2 million at the worldwide box office, one of only six films to achieve this enormous milestone.
Avatar: The Way of Water‘s record-breaking box office run has now reached over $2 billion. The film, which opened on December 16, 2022, is the belated sequel to James Cameron’s 2009 film Avatar, which remains the highest-grossing film of all time worldwide. Avatar: The Way of Water sees Cameron re-teaming with his original cast including Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver, and Stephen Lang, in addition to franchise newcomers like Edie Falco, Jack Champion, and Kate Winslet. Returning to Pandora to continue the story of the Na’vi has proved to be fruitful, as the project has already climbed into the Top 10 films of all time in just five weeks.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, the box office of Avatar: The Way of Water has achieved another huge milestone this weekend. The film has now amassed a total of $2.024 billion worldwide, making it one of just six films to have ever crossed the $2 billion benchmark in cinema history. It is the third film to have earned this distinction to be directed by James Cameron, as his 1997 smash hit Titanic (also starring Kate Winslet) currently occupies the No. 3 spot at $2.194 billion and the original Avatar still reigns supreme with $2.923 billion.
Avatar: The Way of Water’s Box Office Success Explained
There are quite a lot of factors contributing to the tremendous box office success of Avatar: The Way of Water. First is the reputation that comes with the Avatar title. The long-awaited sequel is a follow-up to one of the most popular films of all time, so there was a huge built-in audience waiting to see what Cameron could deliver next. The Avatar films are also known for using cutting-edge special effects, making it more desirable to see the film in 3D or premium large formats – screening options that come with a ticket surcharge that helps boost the overall box office.
Another thing that has helped the film achieve its titanic success is the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has limited the amount of tentpole blockbusters that have been able to come to theaters in the past few years. The most recent major blockbuster before the release of Avatar: The Way of Water was the Marvel Cinematic Universe entry Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, coming out over a month before on November 11. With that long of a gap between films, audiences were hungry for another Hollywood spectacle.
There is also a huge swath of time between Avatar: The Way of Water and the next major tentpole. The film has continued to take No. 1 every weekend in January and likely will continue to do so until the next MCU entry, which is Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania on February 17. This has allowed it to continue gobbling up ticket sales unimpeded, with a few blips on the chart here and there like the outstanding gross for the Blumhouse horror film M3GAN. Compounded with the fact that this is one of the only pandemic-era American films to be released in China, the Avatar sequel has almost no choice but to succeed.
More: Fire Na’vi In Avatar 3?! James Cameron Has To Be Trolling Now