‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Generates Second-Biggest Global Imax Opening of All Time

Imax Dec. 19 announced that director James Cameron’s sci-fi sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water, generated a $48.8 million global opening weekend in its theaters — the second-biggest Imax global opening of all time. The follow-up to the original 2009 Avatar also claimed Imax’s biggest December global opening of all time.

The 3D exhibitor accounted for 11.2% of the movie’s $435 million worldwide gross on just a fraction of total screens. The original Avatar is the highest-grossing film of all time in Imax.

Imax generated $16.5 million at the North American box office — 12.3% of total receipts. The Way of Water also heralded a return to form for Imax in China, where the exhibitor delivered a $15.8 million opening weekend. Imax delivered its biggest opening weekend marketing share ever in the Middle Kingdom, accounting for 27% of the total box office in China on only 1% of total screens in the market.

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“As excited as we are about these early results, we anticipate a long and successful run for  [the movie] as more people around the world book their ticket to Pandora,” Rich Gelfond, CEO of Imax, said in a statement.

Imax screens outside of China delivered $16.5 million in box office, with the film scoring the biggest Imax opening weekend of all time in 11 global markets, including IndiaBelgiumCzech RepublicRomania, Serbia, SwitzerlandTurkeyVietnamChileKazakhstan and New Zealand, where The Way of Water was filmed. In total, 41 international markets posted top five all-time Imax opening weekends.

The Way of Water debuted with the widest Imax global release of all time across 1,543 screens. The film will screen across the Imax network through January in most global markets.

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