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Avatar: The Way of Water Passes $1 Billion at Box Office

Avatar the way of water
Avatar: The Way of Water Passes $1 Billion at Box Office Credit:

Within just fourteen days, Avatar: The Way of Water, an epic science fiction film, has surpassed one billion dollars (£831 million) in sales at the global box office, hence becoming the fastest release to pass the milestone this year.

The film picks up after the events of 2009’s Avatar, which is the highest-grossing film of all time, with box office receipts of $2.97 billion (£2.47 billion).

Analysts, however, anticipate the newest sequel will be unlikely to beat that figure, as movie theaters are still feeling the post-pandemic effects, and people are just not going to the movies as often.

Although delayed, the sequel has proven to be a hit with audiences amidst wildly varying reviews.

The news may come as a surprise to critics, some of whom slammed Avatar: The Way Of Water as a “lumbering, humorless damp squib of a movie” in which “nothing meaningful happens” and “the story is really pretty stupid.”

However, others were more enthusiastic, calling the film an “eye-popping, jaw-dropping spectacle” and a “fully immersive waking dream.”

Avatar: The Way of Water one of three films in 2022 to surpass $1bn in sales

Among the top three films of 2022, Avatar: The Way of Water is the only film that reached the $1 billion milestone in sales so quickly. The other two films to have reached the mark were Top Gun: Maverick and Jurassic World Dominion, though it took much longer for those two.

Based on current performance, the latest Avatar sequel is likely to overtake Top Gun: Maverick as the biggest film of 2022.

James Cameron, the film director, has revealed that his technologically innovative movie needs to make two billion dollars to break even.

The Way of Water and plans for Avatar sequels

Originally, the Avatar was a story of greedy, colonialist humans stripping a distant planet called Pandora of its resources.

The film was narrated through the eyes of Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a human soldier who fell in love with a native warrior of the planet called Neytiri (Zoe Saldana). He came to recognize the importance of Pandora’s delicately balanced ecosystem.

The sequel is set several years later, as Sully and Neytiri head underwater to protect the planet from yet another human invasion while also raising a family.

Depending on its performance at the box office, after Avatar: The Way of Water, three other sequels could also be released in 2024, 2026, and 2028.

Cameron shot the third sequel as well as a bit of the fourth in tandem with The Way of Water to ensure his child actors still appeared to be the right age.

“I love Stranger Things, but you get the Stranger Things effect where they’re supposed to still be in high school, and they look like they’re 27,” he said.

In the fourth sequel of Avatar, the child actors “age six years in the middle of the story on page 25,” he explained, “so I needed [to shoot] everything before then, and then everything after, we’ll do later.”

Film’s profitability dictates my plans, says Avatar: The Way of Water director

In an interview with Total Film magazine, James Cameron, the renowned director of various films—including the first two Terminator movies, Titanic, and The Abyss—admitted that his plans will be dictated by the sequel’s profitability.

“The market could be telling us we’re done in three months,” he said, “or we might be semi-done, meaning: ‘Okay, let’s complete the story within movie three, and not go on endlessly,’ if it’s just not profitable.”

“We’re in a different world now than we were when I wrote this stuff, even,” he said. “It’s the one-two punch—the pandemic and streaming,” he said. “Or, conversely, maybe we’ll remind people what going to the theater is all about. This film definitely does that.”

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