In not-so-surprising news, James Cameron’s long-awaited sequel Avatar: The Way of Water dominated the worldwide box office on its second weekend, despite facing many hurdles.
The sci-fi adventure dipped 52% in its sophomore frame and earned $90 million over the 4-day weekend ($64M 3-day) to bring its domestic total to $287 million. An awe-inspiring feat considering the impact winter storms are having on cities all over the United States.
The Christmas Day tally of $29.5 million was higher than expected and ranks as the fourth-best Dec. 25 take behind only The Force Awakens ($49.3M), Rise of Skywalker ($32.1M), and Spider-Man: No Way Home ($31.6M), per Deadline. Clearly, audiences are excited to return to Pandora. The trade notes that Avatar might hit anywhere between $97-$100 million depending on audience turnout Monday.
Internationally, Avatar pulled in another $168.6 million in 52 markets and has amassed $601.7 million. Do the math, and Cameron’s sequel has collected an incredible $855.4 million even with China dealing with a massive COVID outbreak.
Elsewhere, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish clawed its way over expectations with $12.4 million over the 3-day weekend ($20 million over the 4-day holiday) and $26.9 million total since opening last week. Not great, but considering the marketplace won’t feature another kiddie pic until Super Mario Bros. in April, Puss in Boots has plenty of time to stretch its legs.
All other entries unfortunately crumbled under Avatar’s shadow. Including Sony’s Whitney Houston biopic I Wanna Dance with Somebody, which hauled in just $6.8 million over the 4-day weekend (against a $45M price tag), and Damien Chazelle’s $80 million Hollywood epic, Babylon, which has grossed … $5.3 million since opening on Dec. 23. Ouch.
Remember when everyone laughed at Cats after it opened with a measly $6.6 million over the Christmas holiday?
Box Office Top 10
1) Avatar: The Way of Water (Dis/20th) 4,202 theaters, Fri $19.5M (-63%), Sat $15M, Sun $21.5M, Mon $26M, 3-day $56M (-58%)/4-day $82M/Total: $279.7M/ Wk 2
2) Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (Uni) 4,099 theaters, Fri $3.8M, Sat $2.8M, Sun $4.7M Mon $6.4M 3-day $11.35M, 4-day $17.77M/Total $24.6M/Wk 1
3) I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Sony) 3,625 theaters, Fri $2M Sat $825K Sun $2.47M Mon $2.2M-$3.7M 3-day $5.3M 4-day $7.5M-$9M/Wk 1
4) Babylon (Par) 3,343 theaters Fri $1.47M Sat $590K Sun $1.44M Mon $1.88M 3-day $3.5M 4-day $5.3M/Wk 1
5) Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Dis) 2,250 (-1130) theaters, Fri $1M (-30%) Sat $800K Sun $1.2M Mon $1.67M 3 day $3M (-43%)/4-day $4.7M/Total $427.3M/Wk 7
6) Violent Night (Uni) 2,562 (-966) Fri $960K (-33%) Sat $780K Sun $1.4M Mon $1.06M 3-day $3.1M (-38%) 4-day $4.2M Total $42.6M/Wk 4
7) The Whale (A24) 603 (+597) theaters, Fri $300K (+512%), Sat $208K Sun $413K Mon $393K 3-day $924K (+539%) 4-day $1.3M Total $2.85M/Wk 38)
8) The Menu (Sea) 840 (-1035 theaters), Fri $175K (-65%) Sat $145K Sun $297K Mon $283K 3-day $617K (-41%) 4-Day $900K Total $34M/Wk 6
9) Fabelmans (Uni/Amb) 1,122 (+167) theaters, Fri $130K (-43%), Sat $160K Sun $260K Mon $330K 3 day $550K (-26%), 4-day $880K Total $10M/Wk 7
10) Strange World (Dis) 1,390 (-1,480) theaters, Fri $145K (-72%) Sat $110K Sun $155K Mon $265K 3-day $410K (-81%) 4-day $675K Total $35.8M/Wk 5