Disney's "Avatar: The Way of Water" breaks record, surpasses $1 billion in 14 days


Disney's "Avatar: The Way of Water" breaks record, surpasses $1 billion in 14 days

"Avatar: The Way of Water" has become the fastest movie of 2022 to surpass $1 billion at the global box office, reaching the milestone in just 14 days. The long-delayed sequel to James Cameron's "Avatar" opened in mid-December with $134 million in North America and $435 million globally, and has since generated $317.1 million in North America and $712.7 million overseas, bringing its global total to $1.025 billion.

It has surpassed "Jurassic World Dominion" as the second highest-grossing movie of the year, and is the third highest-grossing of the pandemic era.

Success of "Avatar: The Way of Water"

The success of "Avatar: The Way of Water" is particularly impressive given the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic.

Only three films released in 2022 have managed to surpass the billion-dollar mark, a stark contrast to the nine films that achieved the feat in 2019. In fact, "Avatar: The Way of Water" is the fastest movie to reach the milestone since 2021's "Spider-Man: No Way Home," which took 12 days.

Only six movies in history have cleared $1 billion in their first two weeks of release. "Avatar: The Way of Water" stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, and Sigourney Weaver, who return as the Sully family as they head underwater to battle the elements and keep the Na'vi safe from humans.

The film also features an impressive supporting cast including Stephen Lang, Kate Winslet, Edie Falco, and Jemaine Clement. Despite the impressive box office performance of "Avatar: The Way of Water," it will have a tough time approaching the heights of the original "Avatar," which was released in 2009 and stands as the highest-grossing release in history with $2.97 billion worldwide.

The follow-up film, which was released 13 years later, will likely struggle to reach those heights due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic on the global box office. Additionally, China, a major theatrical market, is currently experiencing a resurgence of the virus, while Russia, another key territory, will not have access to the film.

To justify its massive $350 million budget (not including at least $100 million in marketing fees), "Avatar: The Way of Water" is estimated to need to generate around $2 billion to break even, though analysts believe the threshold to profitability is probably closer to $1.5 billion.

The success of "Avatar: The Way of Water" is crucial not only due to its high budget, but also because it is the first of three planned follow-ups in Cameron's otherworldly series.