‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Approaches $1.4 Billion Global Box Office Entering 2023

Disney-owned 20th Century Studios’ sci-fi fantasy sequel Avatar: The Way of Water entered the New Year the way it ended 2022: on top. The James Cameron-directed follow-up to 2009’s blockbuster Avatar is reportedly set to generate an estimated $82 million in ticket sales through Jan. 2, topping $420 million at the North American box office.

The movie is nearing $1.4 million in worldwide revenue, which is reportedly the financial break-even threshold, Cameron has told media outlets.

The movie ended 2022 as the No. 2 global release behind Paramount Pictures’ Top Gun: Maverick, with $1.19 billion in revenue, quietly passing Universal Pictures’ Jurassic World Dominion at $1 billion.

In a distant second, Universal and DreamWorks Animation’s sequel, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, is projected to sell more than $21 million worth of tickets through Jan. 2, upping its global total past $66 million.

Rounding out the podium is Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever with $6.5 million in four-day revenue, to up its worldwide total past $818.5 million.

Sony Pictures’ Whitney Houston biopic I Wanna Dance with Somebody added more than $5 million in projected ticket sales to up its total to $16 million. That was easily enough to best Paramount Pictures’ financially disappointing Hollywood period drama Babylon, with the reported $80 million production co-starring Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie adding just $3.6 million to an underwhelming $11 million box office total since launching on Dec. 23.

‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Looking to Top $400 Million North American Box Office Through New Year’s Day Weekend

The current box office champ, 20th Century Studios’ Avatar: The Way of Water, is projected to break $400 million via the addition of a reported $73.9 million in revenue across North American theaters through the four-day New Year’s Day weekend that ends Jan. 2, 2023.

The sequel to director James Cameron’s 2009 all-time box office revenue winner, Avatar, which generated more than $2.9 billion in ticket sales, is entering its third weekend. The film has shown strong legs after an above-average opening, topping $1.1 billion in revenue globally through Dec. 28.

The movie is expected to best Paramount Pictures’ Top Gun: Maverick’s international box office of $770 million. The Way of Water enters the weekend with $762.8 million in foreign revenue.

Separately, Universal Pictures/DreamWorks Animation’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is expected to finish No. 2, appealing to families with younger moviegoers not suited to see The Way of Water. The sequel to 2011’s Puss in Boots is expected to add around $15 million in revenue, upping its North American tally past $61 million; near $100 million globally.

Sony/Columbia Pictures’ Whitney Houston biopic I Wanna Dance With Somebody is projected to jumpstart a slow box office debut, adding more than $4 million in ticket sales, due in part to strong 91% Rotten Tomatoes social media critics score.

Finally, Paramount Pictures’ pricey Hollywood period comedy-drama Babylon is setting itself up to sully the studio’s stellar 2022 box office. With a reported 49% Rotten Tomatoes score, the movie co-starring Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie is projected to sell just $3.8 million in tickets over the four-day holiday period — not enough to beat Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and only slightly ahead of Universal Pictures’ Violent Night.

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‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Set to Ring in New Year Box Office No. 1

Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: No Way Home is projected to enter the 2022 box office the way it ended 2021: A resounding No. 1.

The Tom Holland/Zendaya-starring superhero movie has already become Sony’s highest-grossing movie of all-time with more than $1.1 billion in global revenue. It is the third-fastest movie (12 days) to reach $500 million in domestic ticket sales, with just Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame and Disney/Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens surpassing the timeline in just eight days and 10 days, respectively.

As No Way Home enters its third box office weekend targeting $600 million in domestic revenue, the title has few major challenges other than growing concerns about coronavirus Omicron variant infections spreading throughout the country.

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Meanwhile, Universal Pictures’ sequel Sing 2 has become the top-grossing animated movie during the pandemic — generating more than $47 million after six days. The title is projected to finish runner-up to Spider-Man, with Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Matrix Resurrections continuing its underwhelming theatrical run. The title’s ticket sales were likely impacted by the Keanu Reeves’ sci-fi drama also streaming for free on HBO Max.

Other contenders include Lionsgate’s Kurt Warner football biopic American Underdog, which is projected to generate less than $6 million in its second box office weekend — but ahead of 20th Century Studios’ The King’s Man with $4.5 million in its sophomore weekend.