Disney and James Cameron's "Avatar: The Way of Water" saw a 58% drop in ticket sales during its second weekend in theaters, earning an estimated $56 million. This decline is typical for blockbuster films, which usually see a drop of 50%-70% in ticket sales in their second week.
This metric, known as the second-week drop, is often used to predict the film's longevity at the box office. Films with a second-week drop of less than 50% are expected to have longer runs, while those with a drop of over 70% are likely to see ticket sales continue to decline rapidly as the film loses public attention.
However, "Avatar: The Way of Water" performed within the expected range, with Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, saying, "The second-weekend drop for 'Avatar: The Way of Water' puts it right in the zone of where it needs to be as this performance will set the tone for the ongoing box office journey for the film." Cold winter weather and storms during the Christmas weekend are believed to have contributed to the slower ticket sales in the US and Canada.
Despite this, international ticket sales for the film remain strong, with a second-week drop of only 43.9% in markets outside of the US and Canada. It was always expected that "The Way of Water" would generate around 70% of its box office revenue from international ticket sales, and this is currently the case.
Since its release on December 16th, "The Way of Water" has generated $855 million in global ticket sales, with $254 million coming from domestic markets and $601 million from international markets.
5th-highest-grossing film of 2022
It is currently the fifth-highest-grossing film of 2022, with "Top Gun: Maverick" taking the top spot with $1.48 billion in worldwide ticket sales, followed by "Jurassic World: Dominion" ($1 billion), "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" ($952 million), and "Minions: The Rise of Gru" ($939 million).
While "The Way of Water" has generated less than half of the amount that James Cameron said it needs to be considered profitable, it still has the opportunity to do well at the box office. The film has received mixed reviews, with many praising its stunning visuals but criticizing its weak plot.
However, with few major blockbusters set to be released in January, "The Way of Water" has a long stretch at the box office without much competition, giving it the chance to make up for any lost ground and reach its long-term expectations.
As Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com, said, "January is absent much direct competition against the film. That's when the Avatar sequel could make up for any perceived lost ground toward reaching long-term expectations, if it's going to."
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