Avatar: The Way Of Water didn’t resonate as well as many expected, but James Cameron’s big-budget spectacle still helped breathe life into this weekend’s box office.
His sequel earned $134 million from North American theaters and $300.5 million internationally, according to studio estimates on Sunday.
It joins The Batman as the fourth-highest domestic debut of the year, behind Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness (187.4 million in May), Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, (181 million in May), 11) and Thor: Love And Thunder (144.2 million in July).
Expectations are huge for Avatar 2, with a reported price tag of more than $350 million and the pressure to follow the highest-grossing film of all time – thanks in part to multiple re-releases – of more than a year. decade later.
Entering the weekend, many people expect domestic launch revenue of at least 150 million. Some even say 175 million or more, but tracking is not a reliable metric during a pandemic.
“We have a great movie playing across all demographics and (have) great word of mouth,” said Tony Chambers, executive vice president of theatrical distribution at The Walt Disney Company. “We had the screen and we had a clear running track. This is not about opening day or opening weekend. This is about the whole run.
The film opens internationally on Wednesday and opens in North America on Thursday night.
Domestically, Avatar: The Way Of Water was released in 4,202 theaters across more than 12,000 screens, 400 of which were Imax 3D. Studios and filmmakers bet big on the appeal and higher prices of high-end 3D and big-screen formats.
As of late Friday, the film has earned $53 million in the US and Canada and $180.1 million globally, aided by a release in China — its first major release. Hollywood in the country since Minions: The Rise Of Gru in August.
Historically, James Cameron movies are about the long haul, not the opening weekendPaul Dergarabedian
An estimated 66% of the 435 million opening weekend sales came from worldwide 3D ticket sales.
Travis Reid, CEO of 3D company RealD, said the film has set a “new benchmark for the current 3D market”.
Rich Gelfond, CEO of Imax, said in a statement: “We are very excited about these early results, but we anticipate Avatar: The Way Of Water to be a long and successful run.
As with many of Cameron’s ambitious projects, from Titanic to the first Avatar, there’s a lot of anxiety for a costly sequel, one of the most expensive of all time, which began production five years ago. five.
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It faced repeated delays and surpassed The Walt Disney Company’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox in 2019.
It’s also one of four Avatar sequels Cameron has in mind. Filming for the third film, shot concurrently with The Way Of Water, is complete, scheduled for release in December 2024.
Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, said: “Historically, James Cameron’s films are about the long haul, not the opening weekend. “’Avatar’ will grow at the box office over time. That’s about where it will end months from now.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/avatar-the-way-of-water-makes-waves-on-opening-weekend-42228958.html Avatar: The Way Of Water makes waves on its opening weekend