Ticket sales for Walt Disney One thing Avatar: The Way of Water reached the $1.52 billion mark, making it the highest-grossing film released in 2022.
The sci-fi epic, directed by James Cameron, generated $33.8 million in worldwide sales on Wednesday, according to estimates from Disney.
The result placed the film ahead of Paramount Global’s Top Gun: Maverick, the Tom Cruise-action picture has generated nearly $1.49 billion in ticket sales since its debut in May. That includes a two-week re-release in theaters in December. Maverick gets less than half of its sales from overseas – and has never opened in China – while the Avatar sequel scored 69% internationally, with China alone produced $169 million.
The Way of Waterof transport It took time to vindicate Burbank, California-based Disney’s vision for the Avatar franchise, which includes sequels every two years until 2028. Disney acquired the rights to Avatar as part of its $71 billion purchase in the 20th Century fox in 2019.
Cameron’s original Avatar, released in 2009, is the highest-grossing film of all time with $2.9 billion in sales. Like that photo, The Way of Water started off strong but not spectacular, before picking up steam in the coming weeks. Over the four days of the week between Christmas and New Year’s, the film took in about $300 million, more than most pictures made in a year.
The softening economy and the film’s three-hour-plus length have put off many people from seeing it immediately after its release on Dec. 16, according to Kevin Near, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst.
“I really suspect there’s a lot of consumers out there who are just trying to get to Christmas before taking their family to see it,” he said.
Now, the test if The Way of Water can continue to make these types of sales with consumers going back to work and students going back to school. The film benefited from a movie release schedule with less competition, said Barton Crockett, an analyst at Rosenblatt Securities. These box office numbers should allow the picture to turn a profit for Disney, even if it’s a given high cost of production.
“My bet is that the movie will make money at this point,” Crockett said.
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