Avatar: The Way of Water is now part of the billion-dollar movie club. In just 14 days since its release, the James Cameron-directed Avatar sequel has become the fastest to cross that global box office threshold this year, after Spider-Man: No Way Home’s record in 2021. The latter managed the feat in just 12 days, becoming the first film in the COVID-19 pandemic era to reach the milestone. Avatar: The Way of Water is the sixth film ever to gross $1 billion in its first two weeks of release and the fourth Disney release to do so. As per latest available numbers, Avatar 2 has collected $712.7 million (about Rs. 5,900 crore) from markets outside the US, pushing it to the #2 position on the highest-grossing films of 2022. The film has pulled $317.1 million (about Rs. 2,625 crore) from within the US and Canada, bringing its total running tally to $1.025 billion (about Rs. 8,487 crore).
In addition to Avatar: The Way of Water, in 2022, only two other films have managed to surpass the billion-dollar mark — the Tom Cruise-led Top Gun: Maverick with $1.4 billion (about Rs. 11,592 crore), and the Chris Pratt-starrer Jurassic World Dominion making $1.003 billion (about Rs. 8,304 crore) in just over four months. The former managed to hit the threshold in just 31 days since it debuted in cinemas.
This year would also be the first in a long time that a superhero or a Star Wars film hasn’t topped the global box office chart — that is excluding the 2020’s lineup, which saw very few theatrical releases, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. So, the last time we saw a similar instance was in 2014, where Transformers: Age of Extinction dominated with $1.1 billion (about Rs. 9,105 crore) in global ticket sales.
While an achievement on such a scale is considered tremendously positive in most other cases, it is still unclear whether Avatar 2 can hit the estimated break even. Remember, Cameron suggested earlier that the film needs to become the “third or fourth highest-grossing film in history” to hit that goal. Those positions that are currently held by his own 1997 disaster romance film Titanic, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens — both films have made $2 billion (about Rs. 16,551 crore) apiece. There’s no official word on the budget either, with multiple reports citing it’s somewhere between $350 million (about Rs. 2,898 crore) and $400 million (about Rs. 3,312 crore) range.
As implied before, Avatar: The Way of Water has surpassed Jurassic world Dominion to become the number 2 release of 2022 worldwide, and number 3 in the pandemic era. The film has little to no major Hollywood competition until February, which is when the Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania — the next Marvel movie — drops in theatres. That clear runway should only help Avatar 2’s success.
Avatar: The Way of Water is now playing in theatres globally. In India, Avatar 2 is available in English, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu.