The sequel to the highest-grossing film of all time, Avatar 2, hit theatres last week. The director of the film, James Cameron, had high hopes for the long-awaited sequel as it was released 13 years after the first Avatar. Avatar: The Way of Water not only had the first film’s record-breaking performance to live up to but also had to be successful for the upcoming sequels of the 2009 film. The Avatar director has planned three more sequels after The Way of Water. However, he has also said that those sequels totally depend on the performance of The Way of Water.
While many were doubtful that the sequel would not be able to perform as well as the 2009 film, Cameron was sure that fans would not only watch it but would be coming back to see it again and again. And it looks like James Cameron knew what he was talking about. The film has already become one of the biggest openings of 2022 and is on its way to breaking more records as it continues to play in theatres.
Avatar 2 Expected to Gross $1 Billion Within 2022
Since its release last Friday, Avatar 2 has been doing quite well at the box office. Many believed the sequel would suffer to make it at the box office, like most of the 2022 films.
It has already earned $180 million since its release and is estimated to cross the $400 million mark by the end of its opening weekend. The James Cameron film is also expected to hit another major milestone by the end of 2022.
A box office analyst Gitesh Pandya has shared an estimate that The Way of Water will cross the $1 billion mark before New Year’s Eve. The analyst also shared that this would be followed by the opening weekend of $400 million and would hit $800 million by Christmas.
If Avatar 2 manages to reach the estimates, it would break the record set by Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick, which crossed the $1 billion milestone within 31 days of its release. The Top Gun sequel is also the highest-grossing film of 2022.
China’s Role in Avatar: The Way of Water’s Box Office Performance
Unlike many films released in 2022, James Cameron’s Avatar 2 was able to get screens in China. The country has been suffering from the coronavirus shutdown, leading many theatres to remain closed. The Way of Water was released in China and is projected to gross $200 million in its opening weekend.
Richard Gelfond, the CEO of IMAX, has claimed that the sequel would have a great start in China. He said, “It’s one of the highest pre-sale levels we’ve ever seen. So I’m extremely excited about Avatar getting into China.”
The estimate released by the IMAX CEO is based on the analysis of 70% of open theatres, which was executed by a media company, Maoyan. Although the director of the film has not revealed the exact budget of the film, he has claimed that the sequel has to be among the highest-grossing films just to break even.
The first film performed very well at China’s box office and the makers expect that the sequel will receive the same response from the Chinese audience. While it was expected to have a $100 million opening in China, the film has grossed $57.1 million so far in the Middle Kingdom.
Avatar: The Way of Water is playing in theaters now.