Avatar: The Way of Water has opened to an impressive $134 million domestic weekend box office victory alongside bringing in $435 million globally.
As reported by Variety, Avatar: The Way of Water secured the third-biggest global opening weekend during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it now sits behind only Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ $442 million and Spider-Man: No Way Home’s $600 million.
Domestically, Avatar: The Way of Water tied with The Batman as the fifth-biggest opening of 2022. Cameron’s movies, including Avatar, tend to start a bit slower and then continue to build up over the following weeks.
2009’s Avatar opened to only $77 million domestically before continuing on to earn $760 million in North America and $2.92 billion globally to become the highest-grossing movie of all time. The original also held the #1 spot for seven weeks in a row.
The sequel, which earned $301 million internationally, will have a tough time reaching the heights of the original film, however, especially considering it won’t be playing in Russia, where “the original film grossed $116 million.” China is also a huge market and was a big player in the original’s success, but the sequel fell below expectations there in its opening and brought in only $57.1 million.
62% of all those who bought tickets to Avatar: The Way of Water went to see the movie on premium formats like IMAX, and globally the film made $48.8 million in IMAX alone. This was enough to make it IMAX’s second-biggest weekend ever and the biggest for a movie opening in December.
It will be very interesting to follow Avatar: The Way of Water over the coming weeks and see how much it surpasses its $350 million production budget and the countless millions it cost to market. According to Cameron, the film has to be the 3rd or 4th highest-grossing film of all time to make money.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever took second place after sitting atop the box office for five weeks after a $5.4 million performance domestically. It has now reached $418 million in North America, $367 million internationally, and $786.5 million globally.
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Violent Night came in third with $5 million, Strange World brought in $2.2 million, and The Menu rounded out the top five with $1.7 million.
For more, check out our review of Avatar: The Way of Water, our explainer of the ending, and our rankings of all James Cameron movies.
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Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on twitch.