Avatar: The Way of Water is now part of the billion-dollar movie club. In just 14 days since its release, the James Cameron-directed Avatar sequel has become the fastest to cross that global box office threshold this year, after Spider-Man: No Way Home’s record in 2021. The latter managed the feat in just 12 days, becoming the first film in the COVID-19 pandemic era to reach the milestone. Avatar: The Way of Water is the sixth film ever to gross $1 billion in its first two weeks of release and the fourth Disney release to do so. As per latest available numbers, Avatar 2 has collected $712.7 million (about Rs. 5,900 crore) from markets outside the US, pushing it to the #2 position on the highest-grossing films of 2022. The film has pulled $317.1 million (about Rs. 2,625 crore) from within the US and Canada, bringing its total running tally to $1.025 billion (about Rs. 8,487 crore).
In addition to Avatar: The Way of Water, in 2022, only two other films have managed to surpass the billion-dollar mark — the Tom Cruise-led Top Gun: Maverick with $1.4 billion (about Rs. 11,592 crore), and the Chris Pratt-starrer Jurassic World Dominion making $1.003 billion (about Rs. 8,304 crore) in just over four months. The former managed to hit the threshold in just 31 days since it debuted in cinemas.
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This year would also be the first in a long time that a superhero or a Star Wars film hasn’t topped the global box office chart — that is excluding the 2020’s lineup, which saw very few theatrical releases, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. So, the last time we saw a similar instance was in 2014, where Transformers: Age of Extinction dominated with $1.1 billion (about Rs. 9,105 crore) in global ticket sales.
While an achievement on such a scale is considered tremendously positive in most other cases, it is still unclear whether Avatar 2 can hit the estimated break even. Remember, Cameron suggested earlier that the film needs to become the “third or fourth highest-grossing film in history” to hit that goal. Those positions that are currently held by his own 1997 disaster romance film Titanic, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens — both films have made $2 billion (about Rs. 16,551 crore) apiece. There’s no official word on the budget either, with multiple reports citing it’s somewhere between $350 million (about Rs. 2,898 crore) and $400 million (about Rs. 3,312 crore) range.
As implied before, Avatar: The Way of Water has surpassed Jurassic world Dominion to become the number 2 release of 2022 worldwide, and number 3 in the pandemic era. The film has little to no major Hollywood competition until February, which is when the Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania — the next Marvel movie — drops in theatres. That clear runway should only help Avatar 2’s success.
Avatar: The Way of Water is now playing in theatres globally. In India, Avatar 2 is available in English, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu.