‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Experiences Massive Box Office Drop From Its Debut

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Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) in 'Avatar: The Way of Water' (2022). Credit: Disney

Credit: 20th Century Studios

The Walt Disney Company and James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water (2022) brought in a projected $56 million during its second weekend since its debut in theaters.

Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and his son in Avatar: The Way of Water
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Related: Confirmed, ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Bringing Upgrades to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Fans of Disney could claim that Avatar: The Way of Water is the make-or-break moment in the justification for The Walt Disney Company’s $71 Billion blockbuster deal to acquire 21st Century Fox, especially given that Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger has now returned to lead the entertainment giant. There is a ton of pressure for this film to work.

There is very little doubt the film would be a box office hit. That is not what critics of the Avatar (2009) sequel film were questioning. The current issue is that because the movie’s budget was so expensive, at minimum, the 20th Century Studio’s feature must have at least $2 billion in box office sales worldwide to break even. The film was estimated to cost a whopping $450 million to produce (and this doesn’t include any distribution and marketing costs).

Here is an update on what some of the figures look like as Avatar: The Way of Water completes its second entire weekend in theaters:

The Good

The positive news for James Cameron and Disney’s Avatar: The Way of Water is that the film has generated $855 million in global ticket sales since its December 16 release. With $254 million domestically and $601 million from international markets, and has now become 2022’s fifth-highest-grossing film released during the year.

Additionally, international ticket sales continue to thrive. The second-week drop for markets outside the U.S. and Canada was 43.9%. It had been expected that Avatar: The Way of Water would generate at least 70% of its box office from international ticket sales, and that is precisely where the split stands as of Sunday.


Related: Bob Iger Could Be Changing Disney’s ‘Avatar’ Attraction

The Bad

The worry for Disney and Cameron is that there has been a 58% drop from its weekend debut total. A decline in ticket sales is typical for blockbuster titles, with most seeing a 50% to 70% slip. Commonly referred to as the second-week drop, this specific metric is often used to indicate whether a film will have longevity at the box office or may fizzle quickly.

Films that fall less than 50% are expected to have solid, long runs, while those that top 70% are likely to see ticket sales decline sharply as the movie fades from the public spotlight.

Even though Avatar: The Way of Water, Disney, and James Cameron have seen early successes thus far, questions remain if this will be a home run for The Walt Disney Company or another disaster to be added to the list for 2022.

Do you think that Avatar: The Way of Water will be able to be considered a successful film for Disney financially? Let us know what you think by leaving us a comment below. 


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