“Avatar: The Way of Water” continues to dominate the holiday box office.
James Cameron’s epic adventure has now hit the $1.17 billion mark globally, becoming the third highest-grossing film of the pandemic era, behind “Spider-Man: No Way Home” with $1.9 billion and “Top Gun: Maverick” with $1.5 billion.
On Wednesday, “Avatar: The Way of Water” grossed $20 million domestically, bringing its Stateside haul to $358 million. It added $47.9 million to the pot from international markets. That puts its foreign gross at $810.6 million. It now ranks as the highest-grossing international release of the year.
But the “Avatar” sequel carries a massive price tag. Cameron has suggested that in order to break even, “Avatar: The Way of Water” needs to be one of the highest-grossing movies in history. Sources close to the production claim he was being somewhat hyperbolic and set the break-even figure at closer to $1.4 billion — a milestone that the sequel has a good chance of achieving.
“Avatar: The Way of Water” focuses on the Sully clan as they face down a set of invaders that threaten the harmony of Pandora, their mystical home planet. Cameron developed new technology that allowed him to shoot performance capture sequences underwater and the cast learned to free dive so they could hold their breath during extended action scenes.
“Avatar: The Way of Water” brings back Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Stephen Lang and Sigourney Weaver, the stars of the first “Avatar.” It also includes franchise newcomer Kate Winslet, who previously starred in Cameron’s “Titanic” another water-based epic that defied the odds to become a box office sensation.