‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ has massive opening weekend but falls short of expectations

'Avatar: The Way of Water' has massive opening weekend but falls short of expectations
Image: 20th Century

The biggest sequel of 2022 has hit cinemas, but Avatar: The Way of Water hasn’t quite managed to convert the anticipation into the best box office opening.

James Cameron’s magnum opus — for which he’s spent the better part of two decades working on — has finally seen its second chapter release. The Way of Water has had its opening weekend returns confirmed and while they’re nothing to sneeze at they’re far from the enormous figures which had been floated.

Domestic predictions were in the range of $150-$175 million but have opened below the figure with $143 million. Hardly a failure, the domestic opening was massively aided by a huge global opening around the figure of $301 million. In total it’s sitting at $435 million. Predictions had, again, seen higher numbers floated closer to $550 million globally but word of mouth will likely power the sequel through like its predecessor.

Cameron had previously said the film will need to make $2 billion in order to make a profit and is now already a fifth of the way there from just a single weekend. Unlike many of Marvel’s releases this year, Avatar was released in China where it saw a $57 million opening, which was dented by the country’s ongoing pandemic crisis.

The Way of Water has very little competition over this holiday season, with December becoming a huge point of call for the box office. Avatar kickstarted it in 2009 before the Star Wars sequels solidified it as the time to release your biggest film. In order for Avatar 2 to overtake Top Gun: Maverick as the highest-grossing film of 2022, it’ll need to make $1.4 billion.

Avatar: The Way of Water is currently in cinemas.