The Way Of Water Becomes James Cameron’s Third $2 Billion Movie At The Worldwide Box Office

From a numbers standpoint, of course, there’s not much difference between a movie that makes $1,999,999,999 at the box office and a movie that makes $2 billion. But both executives and shareholders are governed by a certain love of arbitrary milestones, and that round number looks very nice on a quarterly earnings report. If “Avatar 4” and “Avatar 5” weren’t already formally greenlit by Disney, they certainly will be now.

Reports on the budget for “Avatar: The Way of Water” vary, with estimates topping out at $460 million, and are complicated by the fact that it was shot back-to-back with “Avatar 3” and parts of “Avatar 4.” Per Variety, analysts speculate that the movie broke even at around the $1.5 billion mark, while Cameron himself set the benchmark for success even higher: “You have to be the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history.” 

Currently in sixth place, “The Way of Water” still needs to overtake “Avengers: Infinity War” ($2.052 billion) and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ($2.071 billion) before it hits Cameron’s stated goal. Based on its current momentum, it will probably do so before next weekend … and then keep going. The path is pretty clear of competition until “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” arrives in mid-February.

When Disney first acquired 20th Century Fox, much of the discussion was focused on the unlocked potential to bring the X-Men into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But with the previously Fox-owned characters yet to make a proper debut in the MCU, “Avatar” is the first franchise to visibly offer big returns on Disney’s $71.3 billion purchase.

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