Six James Cameron Blockbusters Rolling Out on 4K for Disc and Digital Purchase

Six of director James Cameron’s biggest theatrical hits are being re-released in 4K Ultra HD on a transactional basis. Three of the films — 1986’s Aliens, 1989’s The Abyss and 1994’s True Lies — will be released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray for the first time ever in collector’s editions on March 12, 2024.

The 4K transfer for each release will be presented in Dolby Vision HDR and with an immersive Dolby Atmos audio mix. Additionally, most of the releases will arrive with several hours of new bonus features. The 4K UHD physical releases will come on 100GB discs for maximum space and bit rates.

All six films were originally released by 20th Century Fox, which Disney acquired four years ago, and helmed by Cameron, who in a statement said, “There’s a world of emotions in revisiting these films and I hope we’ve captured some of that in the new bonus materials we created for our fans.”

Producer Jon Landau added, “We really wanted to deliver the best possible experience at home so viewers could immerse themselves both in the films and the journeys we went through to make them.”

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The Cameron rollout begins Dec. 5 with Paramount’s previously announced 25th anniversary release of Titanic on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. (Paramount handled domestic distribution of the film while Fox had international rights). The film also will be available in 4K Ultra HD for digital purchase through such retailers as Prime Video, Vudu and Apple TV.

Next, on Dec. 12, come AliensThe AbyssTrue Lies and new special-editions of Avatar and Avatar: The Way of Water, available in 4K Ultra HD for digital purchase from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.

On Dec. 19, Disney will release special-edition Blu-ray Discs of Avatar (available as a 4K Collector’s Edition, a 3D Blu-ray and a 4K limited-edition Steelbook exclusive to Best Buy) and Avatar: The Way of Water (4K Collector’s Edition).

Avatar will include new extras such as “Behind-The-Scenes Presentation Hosted by Jon Landau,” “Colonel Miles Quaritch RDA Promos” and a new still gallery in addition to legacy bonus material.

The Avatar Steelbook (Disney photo)

New Way of Water extras include “Behind-the-Scenes Presentation Hosted by Jon Landau,” “Production Design Panel Hosted by Jon Landau,” “Memories From Avatar: The Way of Water” with Landau and several cast members, deleted/extended scenes, scene deconstructions and more production featurettes, in addition to the extras released when the film was first released on home video earlier this year.

What Disney is now calling 20th Century Studios on Dec. 6 will present the deep sea adventure The Abyss: Special Edition in theaters for a special one-night-only event. Tickets go on sale Nov. 20 and can be purchased at Fandango or wherever tickets are sold.

The home viewing editions of The Abyss will include the featurettes “Deep Dive: A Conversation with James Cameron” and “The Legacy of The Abyss,” plus archival featurettes and production materials.

True Lies, which stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as a spy trying to keep his dual identity a secret from his family, will include the new documentary “Fear Is Not an Option: A Look Back at True Lies,” archival documents, and the film’s theatrical trailer.

Aliens, a sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1979 film Alien, does not include any new bonus materials, but does include legacy featurettes and commentaries.

Bob Iger: ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Tracking to Become Disney’s All-Time Best-Selling Digital Retail Title in the U.S.

Disney-owned 20th Century Studios’ Avatar: The Way of Water is tracking to become the company’s best-selling digital retail release in the the United States, CEO Bob Iger told investors on an Aug. 9 fiscal call. The movie already is the best-selling digital release ever in the United Kingdom.

Disney’s acquisition of the Fox’s former movie studio assets resulted in the company assuming ownership of James Cameron’s “Avatar” film franchise. Disney has already partnered with Cameron for an “Avatar” land at its Animal Kingdom theme park in Florida.

The 2022 theatrical follow-up to 2009’s Avatar, the all-time No. 1 box office release with more than $2.9 billion in global revenue, ranks No. 3 all-time with $2.32 billion in ticket sales behind Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame with $2.79 billion.

Iger highlighted The Way of Water to reiterate Disney’s push to maximize a movie’s revenue potential across all distribution channels, including home entertainment.

“We’re maximizing the full impact of our titles by embracing the multiple distribution windows at our disposal, enabling consumers to access their content in multiple ways,” Iger said, adding that future Disney theatrical release would be headed to alternative retail channels, in addition to streaming.

“Certain other titles will be sold in the download-to-own window as well,” Iger said, adding that by focusing on big franchises and tentpole films, Disney will be better able to generate interest in the company’s legacy movie library.

“We’re seeing tremendous engagement on Disney+ with the previous ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ films, the original Avatar and the first four ‘Indiana Jones’ movies,” he said. “But the value of our Disney entertainment studios and the reason this will be a key growth business for us extends far beyond our library and new releases [i.e., theme parks and consumer products].”

‘Avatar 2’ Due on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, ‘Avatar’ on 4K UHD for First Time June 20

It’s the announcement disc collectors the world over have been waiting for: Walt Disney Home Entertainment has finally announced a DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Blu-ray 3D and 4K Ultra HD release date for James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water.

The film, the No. 1 movie of 2022 with a worldwide gross of $2.32 billion, will arrive on all four disc formats June 20.

On the same date, the studio will also release the original Avatar on 4K Ultra HD for the first time with high dynamic range to digital retailers, as well as on Blu-ray Disc.

The Avatar: The Way of Water release will include more than three hours of bonus content featuring the filmmakers, cast and crew. Extras include:

Inside Pandora’s Box (A series of featurettes on the challenges facing cast and crew as filmmakers devise new technologies to push the limits of cinema):

  • Building the World of Pandora – James Cameron and a team of talented artists combine years of research with their design skills to build the world of Pandora with new characters, creatures, indigenous clans, underwater environments and the take-no-prisoners hard-tech world of the RDA.
  • Capturing Pandora – James Cameron’s approach to performance capture has the cast performing in a volume rigged with infrared cameras to capture their movement, and head rig cameras to capture emotion on their faces with only the boundaries of imagination to limit them.
  • The Undersea World of Pandora – Co-production designer Dylan Cole and his team conceive of the marine creatures required for Avatar: The Way of Water while James Cameron and his stunt team devise extraordinary means to bring those creatures to life in a performance capture tank.
  • The Challenges of Pandora’s Waters – James Cameron tackles the “non-trivial challenge” of performance capture above and below the water’s surface, utilizing a wave machine and current generator to reproduce ocean conditions, and underwater vehicles to replicate creature movement.
  • Pandora’s Returning Characters – James Cameron reunites with his returning cast – Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang. Together they discuss the amazing evolution of their characters in Avatar: The Way of Water.
  • Pandora’s Next Generation – Meet the talented young newcomers who have been cast as the next generation of Na’vi and follow them through the adventure of making Avatar: The Way of Water.
  • Spider’s Web – James Cameron introduced the human character of Spider into the fabric of Pandora – thus creating a host of technological challenges on set…and an incredible journey for the young actor, Jack Champion.
  • Becoming Na’vi – The Avatar cast is immersed in the culture of the indigenous Na’vi, living off the land in the Hawaiian rainforest and training in a multitude of disciplines in preparation for their roles.
  • The Reef People of Pandora – In true James Cameron-style, the Metkayina reef clan has been developed with great attention to detail, bearing unique evolutionary traits and a culture – with new dwellings, new clothes and different way of life – all a result of living off the ocean.
  • Bringing Pandora to Life – Once James Cameron completes his virtual production process, every sequence is turned over to Wētā FX to bring Pandora to life – with unprecedented advancements in facial performance, environments and making CG water look real.
  • The RDA Returns to Pandora – Co-production designer Ben Procter and his team present an armada of new vehicles and human technologies that the RDA brings to Pandora – in concept design and with practical builds.
  • The New Characters of Pandora – Meet the important new characters of the Avatar saga played by Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Edie Falco, Brendan Cowell and Jemaine Clement.
  • The Sounds of Pandora – Hear how James Cameron worked with composer Simon Franglen to create the distinctive music of The Way of Water while building on James Horner’s brilliant score for Avatar, and learn how Chris Boyes created the immersive sounds of Pandora.
  • New Zealand – Pandora’s Home – The production of the Avatar sequels is so thoroughly ensconced in New Zealand that James Cameron considers The Way of Water a “New Zealand film.” Hear reflections from the cast and crew, including the remarkable New Zealand crew, on making the film.

 

More from Pandora’s Box (Additional featurettes that highlight special teams within the production):

  • Casting – Discover the screen tests that won the talented young cast their roles in Avatar: The Way of Water.
  • Stunts – The Avatar stunt team isn’t just creating breathtaking action, they’re driving the story. From racing underwater on ilus, flying the skies on ikrans, to maneuvering RDA speed boats, the stunt team leaves you breathless and wanting more.
  • The Lab – Explore the Lightstorm Lab, the backbone of virtual production for the Avatar Comprised of specialized teams, the Lab builds & supports every aspect of the production – environments, motion edit, Kabuki, sequence, post-viz and software development.
  • The Troupe – Avatar’s Troupe is the Swiss Army Knife of acting, while playing dozens of roles on set, in the performance capture volume and on live-action sets, they bring life to Na’vi clans and RDA Recoms. They also play Na’vi-scale puppets on the live-action sets.

 

Marketing Materials & Music Video (Marketing materials used to build audience awareness of the film):

  • Nothing Is Lost (You Give Me Strength) Music Video – Multi-Grammy-winning, music superstar, The Weeknd, performs his emotionally packed end title song in the official music video for the smash hit “Nothing Is Lost (You Give Me Strength).”
  • Theatrical Trailers 1 & 2 – Avatar: The Way of Water used two theatrical trailers to engage the audience. The first was a teaser trailer released 7 months before the film. The second was a standard trailer that premiered 5 weeks before the film’s release.

 

Nominated for numerous Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Avatar: The Way of Water became the third-highest-grossing film of all time worldwide. Produced by Cameron and his longtime partner Jon Landau, the 20th Century Studios-Lightstorm Entertainment production stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Cliff Curtis and Kate Winslet. Joining the adult cast are newcomers Britain Dalton, Jamie Flatters, Trinity Jo-Li Bliss, Bailey Bass and Jack Champion.

The Avatar: The Way of Water 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack will also be available in a variety of retailer-exclusive editions. Best Buy will have Steelbook packaging, Target will have a packed-in decal, and Walmart will have a lenticular cover.

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The 4K edition of the original Avatar has both existing and new bonus features including “Memories From Avatar,” where producer Jon Landau leads a conversation with cast members Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang, recalling memories from production and reflecting on the success of the film. “Avatar: A Look Back” provides a retrospective where cast and filmmakers reflect on their journey making Avatar, the groundbreaking technologies they used to create it, and the effect the film had on audiences worldwide.

Extras for the original Avatar include:

Memories from Avatar: Producer Jon Landau leads a spirited conversation with cast members, Sam Worthington, Zoë Saldana, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang, recalling warm memories from production and reflecting on the extraordinary success of Avatar.

Avatar: A Look Back: In this retrospective, cast and filmmakers reflect on their extraordinary journey making Avatar, the groundbreaking technologies they used to create an unparalleled cinematic experience, and the profound effect the film had on audiences worldwide.

Capturing Avatar: Journey with James Cameron and crew in this feature-length documentary, as they embark on a film the likes of which the world had never seen.

  • Part One – After years of testing, research and design, James Cameron’s tackled Avatar, “the most complex film” in his storied career.
  • Part Two – Actors and technology are pushed to the limit as James Cameron pushes the boundaries of a groundbreaking, new filmmaking paradigm.
  • Part Three – James Cameron used ground-breaking technology to merge the virtual and live-action elements of his film.
  • Part Four – The edit room became ground zero as music, sound and visual effects were finalized in order to make the film’s release date.

Featurettes: Take a closer look at the creation of Pandora and the making of Avatar with featurettes on key aspects of production design, performance capture, and the post-production process.

  • Sculpting Avatar – Explore how clay maquettes were sculpted to help bring Avatar’s characters and creatures to life.
  • Creating the Banshee – Discover all that went into designing the Banshees, high-flying predators of the Pandoran sky.
  • Creating the Thanator – James Cameron and team reveal how the most terrifying beast in the Pandoran rain forest was brought to the screen.
  • The AMP Suit – Explore the design of the AMP (Amplified Mobility Platform) and discover why it was the perfect weapon for Colonel Quaritch.
  • Flying Vehicles – Explore the design of the RDA’s gunships and how they helped ground the story in a realistic world audiences could connect to.
  • Na’vi Costumes – Discover the costumes of Avatar and why it was essential to create real-world costumes for characters that were seen only in a virtual world.
  • Speaking Na’vi – Delve into the complex Na’vi language created for Avatar, and the challenging task for the cast who had to speak it.
  • Pandora Flora – Explore the science behind the Pandoran rainforest, including the exotic plants and bioluminescence.
  • Stunts – James Cameron and Avatar’s stunt coordinators discuss how they learned to move like a Na’vi, ride a Leonopteryx, and more.
  • Performance Capture – Discover how the actors’ actions, emotions and spirit were captured in performance and transferred to a virtual character.
  • Virtual Camera – Discover the virtual camera system that allowed James Cameron to apply camera angles, lighting and movement to his scenes long after the performance capture phase was completed.
  • The 3D Fusion Camera – Explore the newly designed 3D Fusion camera system which enabled the filmmakers to create an immersive stereographic experience.
  • The Simul-Cam – See how the newly created Simul-Cam seamlessly integrated the virtual world with the live action camera, allowing Jake’s avatar to appear in a scene with real-world actors.
  • Editing Avatar – James Cameron and the film’s editors reveal the unique challenges they faced editing Avatar, and the benefits of “learning as you go”.
  • Scoring Avatar – Composer James Horner and James Cameron discuss how Avatar’s score was grounded in the familiar while evoking a breathtaking new world.
  • Sound Design – Explore the sounds of Pandora, including the Banshee, Direhorse and Thanator, as well as the near-future engineering sounds of the Dragon, Scorpion and more.
  • The Haka: The Spirit of New Zealand – On the final day of production, the New Zealand stuntmen honored James Cameron with a traditional Haka dance.

 

The original Academy Award-winning Avatar introduced the world of Pandora and became the highest-grossing film of all time earning more than $2.9 billion worldwide and receiving nine Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. It won three Oscars, for Best Cinematography, Production Design and Visual Effects.

Immersing in the World of ‘Avatar’

In celebration of James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water, now available for digital purchase, Disney offered a special exhibition at Lighthouse ArtSpace in Los Angeles where attendees stepped into the world of Avatar. Producer Jon Landau and star Trinity Jo-Li Bliss were among the attendees at a preview event April 21.

Combining the technology of the Lighthouse’s experiential art exhibits and the Oscar award-winning visual effects of the film, the immersive experience showcased some of the scenes featured in Avatar: The Way of Water, including underwater at the Metkayina Clan village. Additional elements of the event included props and costumes from the film, as well as life-sized statues.

“The Art of Avatar: The Way of Water — An Immersive Experience” was available for free to fans over Earth Day weekend, April 22-23, to commemorate the annual event that demonstrates support for environmental protection. (Photos courtesy of Disney)

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Disney Sets March 28 Digital Home Release Date for ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’

The Walt Disney Co. has set a March 28 home release date for James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water, which will initially be available only for digital purchase from most major digital retailers, including Vudu, Redbox On Demand, Prime Video and Apple TV.

A DVD and Blu-ray Disc release date has not yet been announced, but is expected to follow.

The belated sequel to 2009’s original Avatar is the third-highest-grossing movie of all time, earning more than $2.2 billion worldwide ($607.7 million domestic) and receiving four Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture.

The film’s digital release will offer 4K Ultra HD quality and immersive Dolby Atmos audio. The release includes three hours of never-before-seen bonus content featuring the filmmakers, cast and crew.

In Avatar: The Way of Water, director Cameron returns to the world of Pandora more than a decade after the events of the first film. The sequel launches the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their kids), the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure. Audiences also are introduced to new Na’vi cultures and a range of exotic sea creatures that populate the majestic oceans.

Produced by Cameron and his longtime partner Jon Landau, the Lightstorm Entertainment production stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Cliff Curtis and Kate Winslet. New cast members include Britain Dalton, Jamie Flatters, Trinity Jo-Li Bliss, Bailey Bass and Jack Champion.

Bonus features include:

  • “Inside Pandora’s Box” — a series of featurettes on the challenges facing cast and crew as filmmakers devise new technologies to push the limits of cinema)
  • “Building the World of Pandora” —  Cameron and a team of talented artists combine years of research with their design skills to build the world of Pandora with new characters, creatures, indigenous clans, underwater environments and the hard-tech world of the RDA.
  • “Capturing Pandora” — Cameron’s approach to performance-capture has the cast performing in a volume rigged with infrared cameras to capture their movement, and head rig cameras to capture emotion on their faces with only the boundaries of imagination to limit them.
  • “The Undersea World of Pandora” — Co-production designer Dylan Cole and his team conceive of the marine creatures required for Avatar: The Way of Water while James Cameron and his stunt team devise extraordinary means to bring those creatures to life in a performance capture tank.
  • “The Challenges of Pandora’s Waters” — Cameron tackles the challenge of performance-capture above and below the water’s surface, utilizing a wave machine and current generator to reproduce ocean conditions, and underwater vehicles to replicate creature movement.
  • “Pandora’s Returning Characters” — Cameron reunites with his returning cast to discuss the evolution of their characters in Avatar: The Way of Water.
  • “Pandora’s Next Generation” — Viewers are introduced to the young newcomers who have been cast as the next generation of Na’vi and follow them through the adventure of making Avatar: The Way of Water.
  • “Spider’s Web” — Cameron introduced the human character of Spider (portrayed by young actor Jack Champion) into the fabric of Pandora, an introduction that created a host of technological challenges on set.
  • “Becoming Na’vi” — The Avatar cast is immersed in the culture of the indigenous Na’vi, living off the land in the Hawaiian rainforest and training in a multitude of disciplines in preparation for their roles.
  • “The Reef People of Pandora” — A look at how the Metkayina reef clan was developed with great attention to detail, bearing unique evolutionary traits and a culture — with new dwellings, new clothes and different way of life — all a result of living off the ocean.
  • “Bringing Pandora to Life” — Once Cameron completed his virtual production process, every sequence was turned over to Weta FX to bring Pandora to life — with significant advancements in facial performance, environments and making CG water look real.
  • “The RDA Returns to Pandora” — Co-production designer Ben Procter and his team present an armada of new vehicles and human technologies that the RDA brings to Pandora — in concept design and with practical builds.
  • “The New Characters of Pandora” — Viewers are introduced to the important new characters of the Avatar saga played by Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Edie Falco, Brendan Cowell and Jemaine Clement.
  • “The Sounds of Pandora” — Hear how Cameron worked with composer Simon Franglen to create the distinctive music of The Way of Water while building on James Horner’s score for Avatar, and learn how Chris Boyes created the immersive sounds of Pandora.
  • “New Zealand: Pandora’s Home” — The production of the Avatar sequels is so thoroughly ensconced in New Zealand that Cameron considers The Way of Water a “New Zealand film.” Hear reflections from the cast and crew, including the New Zealand crew, on making the film.

 

Also included are the screen tests that won the young cast their roles in Avatar: The Way of Water; a look at the stunt team that did everything from racing underwater on ilus and flying the skies on ikrans to maneuvering RDA speed boats; a virtual visit to the Lightstorm Lab, the backbone of virtual production for the Avatar films; and an inside look at The Troupe, whose members played dozens of roles in the performance capture volume and on live-action sets.

‘Avatar 2’ Tops $2 Billion Global Box Office After Six Weeks in Release

Disney-owned 20th Century Studios’ sequel Avatar: The Way of Water continues to show strong sea legs, adding another $20 million in projected box office revenue through Jan. 22. The tally is enough to push director James Cameron’s follow-up to his 2009 original Avatar past $2 billion in global theatrical revenue after just six weeks in release.

The movie’s total supplants Sony Pictures’ 2021 global box office champ, Spider-Man: No Way Home ($1.91 billion), as the No. 6 all-time theatrical revenue release — and sits just $20 million behind No. 5, Avengers: Infinity War (Disney/Marvel Studios).

Universal Pictures/DreamWorks Animation’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish added $11.5 million in ticket sales to push its global five-week total near $300 million. The tally was enough to drop former box office champ, Universal’s life-like doll thriller M3GAN, to No. 3 with almost $10 million in revenue. The movie’s global tally after three weeks now approaches $127 million — with a sequel in the works.

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Sony’s new drama release Missing finished the weekend in the No. 4 spot with $9.3 million across more than 3,000 screens. The studio’s Tom Hanks-starrer A Man Called Otto finished No. 5 with $9 million in revenue to push its worldwide tally past $55.3 million.

Finally, Lionsgate’s thriller Plane, starring Gerard Butler as a commercial pilot who, after an emergency landing on a remote island, finds himself and passengers in the crosshairs of warring island rebels, sold more than $5 million worth of tickets to push its global 10-day total near $20 million.

This Week’s MPN Podcast: Most Popular Streamed Movies and Shows of 2022; Most Anticipated Content Coming in January

On this week’s episode of the Media Play News podcast, hosts Charles Parkman and Charlie Showley cover  the year’s most popular streamed movies and shows according to data compiled by JustWatch.

They debate the pros and cons of the lists, while sharing some of their own insights about what they’d seen during the year. In general, moviegoers returned to theaters in droves for the first time since the pandemic, but streaming was still a very popular way to watch new movies. For example, Spider-Man: No Way Home set records for one of the largest theatrical releases of all time, yet was still the No. 4 most streamed movie of the year.

Unsurprisingly, the No. 1 most popular streamed movie was Top Gun: Maverick, the surprise smash of the year that made well over a billion dollars during its theatrical run and maintained strong viewership numbers on both streaming as well as physical sales.

For shows, the dueling high fantasy epics of “House of the Dragon” and “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” both held top 10 spots by popularity, but the most popular streamed show was Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” now in its fourth season. Charlie wraps the segment by remarking on the abrupt cancellation of another Netflix show, “1899.”

The following segment looks ahead to January releases of new movies and shows. The hosts were at a loss for most of the announcements, leading them to conclude that Avatar: The Way of Water would face just about no competition for another month in theaters and easily net at least $2 billion before the end of the month.

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One new show that caught their eye was “The Last of Us,” set to premiere on HBO Max. This is a show based on a video game by the same name that both have played, and given its mature and cinematic content led them to both give it a preemptive recommendation.

This Week’s MPN Podcast: Review for ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ and Recap of ‘Avatar’ on Disney+; Henry Cavill to Leave DC Cinematic Universe and ‘Witcher’ Netflix Series for ‘Warhammer 40k’ Series

 

On this week’s episode of the Media Play News podcast, hosts Charles Parkman and Charlie Showley lead with a review for Avatar: The Way of Water as well as a quick recap and comparison to the original Avatar (available to stream on Disney+).

In short: the sequel successfully builds on the story of the first movie but the true attraction is the stunning visual effects. In Charlie’s words: it’s as though a documentary shoot took place on an alien planet because the CGI is so seamless and the ecosystem is so vibrant the movie will effortlessly transport you back to Pandora. Charles was similarly impressed, expressing his disappointment with the original but applauding The Way of Water. Both hosts are looking forward to the next installment of the franchise. When it comes to box office performance, as of the time of recording the movie has broken $900 million worldwide and still easily taking the No. 1 spot domestically. It faces little to no competition in theaters until the next Marvel release, Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania in February.

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In streaming, it’s been a busy time for actor Henry Cavill. Production disagreements and friction between the showrunners/writers and Cavill on Netflix’s “The Witcher” have led to his departure from the series, to be replaced by Liam Hemsworth in the next season. Simultaneously, due to pivots in DC’s strategy (spearheaded by James Gunn and Peter Safran), Cavill will also not reprise his role as Superman in upcoming movies, despite his character’s recent cameo in the Black Adam post-credits scene. But with a trick up his sleeve, Cavill has announced his new role as executive producer and lead in Amazon Prime Video’s “Warhammer 40k” series, a sci-fi property popular with tabletop role-playing gamers. Cavill himself is a huge fan of the IP and while little is known about Amazon’s plans there is universal positive buzz about his announcement.

‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Leads Global Box Office With $435 Million Tidal Wave — Driven by 3D

Director James Cameron’s Avatar sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water (20th Century Studios), generated an estimated $435 million in global box office revenue, including almost $135 million across North American screens, for the weekend ended Dec. 18.

The opening is the third-highest since the pandemic began, behind No. 2 Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Disney/Marvel Studios) at $442 million, including $187.4 million in North America, and No. 1, Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: No Way Home with $600 million worldwide, including $260.1 million domestically.

Avatar: The Way of Water ranks as the No. 5 North American box office opening in 2022, tied with Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Batman.

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The movie generated an estimated 66% of its revenue from worldwide 3D ticket sales, underscoring the fact moviegoers continue embrace the 3D format when presented with compelling content. The projection is based on data from Comscore.
 
China was the top-performing 3D market in the world, with an estimated 99% of all moviegoers in the Middle Kingdom purchasing 3D tickets. In North America, an estimated 58% of moviegoers purchased 3D tickets and internationally, 66% of this week’s audience experienced the film in 3D.
 
“Just as the original Avatar did, Avatar: The Way of Water has set a new benchmark for the current 3D marketplace,” Travis Reid, CEO for 3D company RealD, said in a statement. “We expect to continue to see strong 3D results worldwide thru the holiday and new year.”
 
Avatar’s opening largely sucked the air out of the remaining theatrical market as Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever added $5.3 million in ticket sales to up its North American tally past $418 million after six weekends. Universal Pictures’ holiday drama, Violent Night, saw another $5 million in revenue to up its tally near $35 million after three weeks.
 
Disney continues to dominate the box office as the animated musical Strange World and Searchlight Pictures’ black comedy The Menu rounded out the top five with $2.2 million and $1.7 million in revenue , respectively.
 

Let the ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Tsunami Begin

With Disney-owned 20th Century Studios bowing director James Cameron’s long-awaited animated sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water, early in theaters on Dec. 16, the movie is expected to top the $160.5 million Memorial Day weekend opening for Paramount Pictures’ Top Gun: Maverick.

The sequel finds original characters Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) now the parents of four Na’vi children. When the family and Na’vi people’s forest home is threatened by the return of humans to re-colonize parts of Pandora, Sully and Neytiri fight back.

While it remains unlikely the follow-up to the all-time box office champ, 2009’s original Avatar with more than $2.9 billion in global revenue, will surpass Maverick for the No. 1 2022 box office title, overall revenue projections for The Way of Water are all over the map.

Industry estimates peg the three-hour release generating anywhere from $135 million to almost $200 million from Dec. 16-18. The movie has 82% score on Rotten Tomatoes based on 162 reviews, which is par with the original Avatar.

Thursday’s screenings generated a reported $17 million in domestic ticket sales, and $24 million on Friday ticket sales in China.

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