Updated: Film is on track to earn $525 million + globally on its opening weekend. Predictions updated to reflect new tracking data.
Whatever you are predicting Avatar: The Way of Water to make at the box office, make it higher! So, what will Avatar: The Way of Water make at the Domestic and Worldwide box office?
We have nearly arrived at our Most Anticipated Film of 2022 and likely the most anticipated box office prospect since Avengers: Endgame – whether it could topple the original Avatar film. We are a week away from the release of its sequel and box office enthusiasts are incredibly interested to see how it will perform. I have seen a lot of discourse on the subject matter and the predictions are wildly diverse – as one would expect.
We’ll see how Avatar: The Way of Water will do as I dive into the advantages and disadvantages it faces at the box office.
- Avatar (2009) is the highest grossing film of all-time worldwide and domestically, it is the fourth highest grossing film as it has since been surpassed by Avengers: Endgame, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Spider-Man: No Way Home. It remains the second best selling Blu-Ray/UHD release domestically (Frozen tops this list) of all-time. Despite popular belief, Avatar has a cultural imprint, albeit that it has remained dormant for years.
- The key selling point of the original film will likely align with its sequel as well – which is breakthrough, avant-garde visual effects and 3-D technology. With the progression of technology in today’s filmmaking era coupled with the ambition of Director, James Cameron – we should see high-quality filmmaking that should entice casual viewers as well.
- JAMES CAMERON: Honestly, you just can’t bet against this director. He may not craft films that are a masterclass in narrative storytelling but he definitely knows how to deliver films and especially sequels. Terminator 2: Judgement Day and Aliens are considered some of the best sequels of all-time.
- While the industry as a whole may be financially struggling, the potential for a box office blockbuster to earn in the billion is still entirely capable – see, Top Gun: Maverick and Spider-Man: No Way Home. The latter earning over $1.9 billion (without a China release) and releasing at the same time should alert us to the potential here.
- Further to the above, similar to Spider-Man: No Way Home, competition remains relatively thin. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish provides counterprogramming during the holiday season and shouldn’t be perceived as a threat. The next major tentpole release is Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania which is mid-February.
- Premium format viewing – look for this film to capitalize on the ticket price increase in 3-D and IMAX formats. With the lack of films being released in these formats after The Way of Water’s release, it should be able to occupy those screens for a longer period of time.
- Christmas and the holiday season – this period is an amazing time for films to release as they possess incredible staying power opportunities leading to low weekend drop % and high weekday earning $ potential.
- Social media reactions from critics were impressive – highlighting a cinematic spectacle and claims that it exceeds the first film.
- The reported runtime for Avatar: The Way of Water is 3 hours and 12 minutes. Now a lot of the biggest box office hits across time have eclipsed the 3 hour running time – Avengers: Endgame, Titanic, and The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. If the film’s pacing allows for a streamlined viewing experience, then it should weigh too heavily into this film’s box office potential. However, reality remains that the longer a film is then the less showtimes it can have during the day.
- Avatar was an extremely popular 3-D film and in fact, 80% of its gross came from 3-D showings which, as we know, have a higher ticket price. Since the viewing format became extremely unpopular and disliked – we can’t expect anything close to that 80% figure. This will have an influence on the films total gross but perhaps, James Cameron can convince audiences to return to the 3-D format again..?
- Marketing has been a little quiet, despite growing in strength in the past few weeks. At this stage, it should be considered a disadvantage to ramp up marketing too close to the film’s release. In saying this, I don’t consider this to be a major box office deterrent – just deserves a mention
Domestic Box Office:
Opening Weekend – $182 million
Domestic Total – $712 million
Worldwide Box Office:
Worldwide Total – $2.21 billion
Back in March 2021, I wrote an article covering what film would be the first to cross a billion in a post-pandemic world and in that, I claimed Avatar: The Way of Water would be the first to cross 2 billion. I stick to that claim and the stars are aligning for me to get that moral victory! I look forward to covering an anticipated box office performance!
Whatever you are predicting Avatar: The Way of Water to make at the box office, make it higher!Tweet