Avatar: The Way of Water earned $134 million domestically in its opening weekend, Variety reports. The long-awaited sequel to 2009’s Avatar amassed an additional $301 million internationally, bringing its overall sum to $435 million.
In an interview with GQ last month, Avatar: The Way of Water director James Cameron said the sequel would need to become the “third or fourth highest-grossing film in history” in order to “break even.” As far as the domestic box office goes, Avatar: The Way of Water fell short of meeting box office expectations, which were between $150 million and $175 million.
Sources tell Deadline that the sequel cost about $460 million before factoring in the print and advertising budget. Despite a less than favorable debut, it’s not time for Disney to hit the panic button just yet. There are encouraging signs across the board that suggest sustained box office success for The Way of Water.
Remember, there’s a history of people prematurely declaring Cameron’s previous films a box office flop before getting proven wrong.
It happened with Titanic. It happened with the original Avatar. And both movies had huge legs, sustaining long-term box office success en route to becoming two of the highest-grossing films of all time. In fact, the original Avatar currently has the belt.
Great reviews and positive buzz suggest that Cameron’s latest film will also have lasting power at the box office, especially with the holidays fast approaching. The lesson here? Never bet against Big Jim.