Avatar: The Way of Water continues to excel at the box office, now seeing Spider-Man: No Way Home become the highest-grossing movie of the pandemic era.
Released 13 years after James Cameron’s record-breaking original film, Avatar: The Way of Water persists the story of the Sully family as they leave the forests of Pandora to take shelter with a new oceanic clan of Navi.
The film, which was met with mostly favourable reviews from critics, was far from a sure thing when it came to the box office, with Cameron himself realizing it was a financial risk.
However, the risk paid off, and Avatar: The Way of Water quickly became the highest-grossing film of 2022.
According to Collider, Avatar: The Way of Water has surpassed Spider-Man: No Way Home to become the sixth best-grossing film of all time and the highest pandemic age.
With this new milestone, Cameron’s follow-up picture may compete with Avengers: Infinity War and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which grossed $2.04 million and $2.069 million, respectively.
Explained the Success of The Way Of Water’s Box Office
Despite grossing somewhat below predictions in its first weekend, Avatar: The Way of Water swiftly demonstrated that there was still fan enthusiasm for the franchise.
Unlike MCU films, which tend to be more front-loaded at the box office, Cameron’s sequel, like the original, has performed extremely well from week to week with little declines.
The lower opening weekend can be attributed in part to Avatar: The Way of Water’s long run-time, which makes the sequel more of a planned event for moviegoers, but data also suggests that viewers chose to wait to see the film in its optimal format (IMAX 3D), rather than settle for standard screenings.
Like the original Avatar, strong word-of-mouth has played a crucial role in the sequel’s success.
Although Avatar: The Way of Water scored lower than the actual film on Rotten Tomatoes with critics, the audience score is much higher, meaning word-of-mouth from friends & family has played an essential role in getting audiences to theatres.
There aren’t any hard statistics yet, but the sequel is probably performing well in terms of repeat business.
The original Avatar profited from multiple viewings in theatres, and the sequel’s success suggests that this may happen again.
Avatar: The Way of Water’s worldwide total, like the first film’s, has benefited considerably from good performance overseas, with the film generating $1.34 billion in international markets.
What the Success of Way of Water Means for the Avatar Franchise
With Avatar: The Way of Water demonstrating that there is still a strong desire for Pandora and the future adventures of the Sully family, Cameron is planning a series of additional sequels.
A third picture, which has already been filmed and is in post-production, is set to be released in 2024, and Cameron’s planned (and written) fourth and fifth Avatar films are also extremely likely to get the green light from Disney shortly.
It’s unknown how much gas Avatar: The Way of Water has left in the tank, but it appears that the film isn’t done shattering records just yet.