The late-year box office hit Avatar: The Way of Water, from Disney-owned 20th Century Studios, is set to dominate its second weekend box office, with more than $60 million in projected revenue across the Christmas holiday.
Director James Cameron’s sequel to his 2009 original Avatar has shown strong sea legs all week, generating ticket sales of $16.2 million, $18.2 million and $14.4 million over Dec. 19, 20 and 21, respectively. The movie is expected to up its North American total past $259 million (near $700 million globally) through Dec. 25.
While three new box office releases over Christmas include an animated sequel to a popular 11-year-old title, Puss in Boots, and a period drama starring Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, moviegoers also have to contend with record-breaking winter weather affecting moviegoing consumers across major designated market areas such as Chicago, New York and the Northeast.
More than half the U.S. population will be subjected to arctic wind chill alerts over the Christmas weekend, according to the National Weather Service.
Regardless, new box office releases include Universal Pictures/DreamWorks Animation’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, follow-up to 2011’s Puss in Boots. The sequel, which is projected to generate more than $16 million across Christmas weekend, has already sold $21.9 million worth of tickets globally, including $3.2 million in a Dec. 21 North American sneak peak screenings.
Sony/Columbia Pictures’ Whitney Houston biopic, I Wanna Dance with Somebody, is aimed at older female moviegoers and projected to generate upwards of $9 million in ticket sales.
Finally, Paramount Pictures’ Babylon, a period drama about Hollywood debauchery, is projected to see more than $6 million in opening weekend revenue. It will be the first major Paramount release in 2022 not to finish No. 1 at the box office in its debut.
Box office returnees include Disney/Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Universal’s Violent Night, and A24’s The Whale, starring Brendan Fraser.