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The Way of Water’ tops $2 billion at the worldwide box office


Avatar: The Way of Water

Courtesy: Disney Co.

Disney‘s “Avatar: The Way of Water” has topped $2 billion at the worldwide box office, making it the third James Cameron film to achieve this benchmark.

Only five other movies have hit this metric — the unique “Avatar,” “Avengers: Endgame,” Cameron’s “Titanic,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Avengers: Infinity War.”

As of Sunday, “The Way of Water” had tallied $598 million from domestic ticket sales and $1.426 billion from foreign markets. The film is the sixth highest-grossing film of all time and can likely move up within the rankings as its run in theaters continues.

“The film has now joined that very exclusive box office club and has made it look almost effortless,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.

The box office has struggled to recuperate within the wake of the pandemic, as audiences shifted to more at-home viewing and fewer movies reached the large screen. Because the industry rebounds, movies like “The Way of Water” have proven that moviegoers are desperate to return for giant blockbuster spectacles. And plenty of are willing to pay for premium showings like IMAX or large format screens that usually include the next price tag.

While “The Way of Water” has had a more muted showing than expected in China, the results of a spike in Covid numbers and hospitalizations attributable to the virus, it has generated strong ticket sales from France, Germany and Korea.

Reaching the $2 billion mark is a great sign for the Avatar franchise, which has three more installments slated for release over the subsequent five years. It also meets the goal set by Cameron, who had previously said the film would must be the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history just to interrupt even.

“Keeping in keeping with Cameron’s ‘king of the box office world’ profession trajectory it should come as no surprise that the justification for completion of the director’s vision for the world of Pandora is now undeniably assured and given the stamp of approval by enthusiastic fans across the globe,” Dergarabedian said.

It’s unclear what the film’s production budget was, although estimates range from $250 million to $350 million, not including marketing costs.

“The Way of Water” should steadily proceed to generate box office receipts because it has no direct competition in theaters until mid-February, when Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” one other Disney production, is released.

Correction: This story was updated to reflect that “The Way of Water” is the third James Cameron movie to gross $2 billion at the worldwide box office.

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