Avatar: The Way of Water’s Preview Night Box Office Opens at $17 Million

Though the Thursday previews screenings for Avatar: The Way of Water are still going (the movie clocks in at over three hours long after all), early numbers for the film have come in. Deadline reports that the James Cameron-sequel is “on its way to a $17 million Thursday night.” For comparison sake this is on par with the likes of The Batman, which brought in $17.6 million, but decidedly lower than Black Panther: Wakanda Forever which managed to secure $28 million. Unlike the Marvel Studios release however, Cameron’s sequel is expected to have a much bigger hold weekend to weekend, in part because of the winter holidays but also because of the lack of counter programming.

Early projections for the highly-anticipated sequel point toward Avatar: The Way of Water bringing in over half a billion in its opening weekend. Previous reports revealed that the film could hypothetically bring in over $175 million domestic and $350 million overseas, giving it a potential $525 million worldwide in its first weekend. If the film is able to have the same kind of repeat business that its predecessor had however, that could just be a drop in the bucket.

It’s also worth nothing that Avatar: The Way of Water has also secured a release in China, one of the few major Hollywood releases in recent years to actually manage that. Enthusiasm for Avatar in China goes back as far as the original release of the movie in 2009, making its financial prospects in the Middle Kingdom seem very good, even with COVID-19 related shutdowns and theater closures.

Avatar: The Way of Water is now playing in theaters, with Avatar 3 set to debut two years later on December 20, 2024. James Cameron previously confirmed they know what they’ll do if Avatar: The Way of Water isn’t a hit.

“The market could be telling us we’re done in three months, or we might be semi-done, meaning: ‘Okay, let’s complete the story within movie three, and not go on endlessly,’ if it’s just not profitable,” Cameron revealed to Total Film Magazine. “We’re in a different world now than we were when I wrote this stuff, even. It’s the one-two punch – the pandemic and streaming. Or, conversely, maybe we’ll remind people what going to the theater is all about. This film definitely does that. The question is: how many people give a s*** now?”


Luckily for him, seems like plenty of people care.

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