Friday, June 9, 2023

“Avatar: The Way of Water” falls short of earnings expectations

‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ earned $53 million on its Friday opening day and is now projected to gross between $130-$150 million for its opening weekend, Deadline reports.

why it matters: That’s slightly below expectations for the long-awaited sequel from director James Cameron, who previously suggested the film needed to make billions to break even.

Description: “Avatar: The Way of Water” opened in 4,202 theaters this weekend, including Thursday night previews.

  • In addition to $53 million domestically, the film grossed $15.8 million for its first-day sales in 15 different markets, per Deadline.
  • The opening night domestic return ranks sixth for first day domestic earnings for 2022, Variety reports.

Reference: The original “Avatar” – released in 2009 – earned $26.7 million on its opening night before grossing $77 million in its opening weekend.

big picture: All signs point to “The Way of Water” coming in slightly below estimates, which state the film will gross between $150-$170 million in its opening weekend.

  • Several Marvel and Hollywood blockbusters in 2022 grossed more on their opening night than “The Way of Water,” including “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” ($90.7 million) “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” ($84.2 million) Million) and “The Way of the Water”. Batman” ($56.6 million).
  • Last year, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” made $121.5 million on its opening night in December 2021, the second highest-grossing opening day of all time. The film grossed $260.1 million in its entire opening weekend.

What are we watching: Cameron told GQ that an “Avatar” sequel was so expensive that the film would need to be “the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history”.

  • The fourth-highest-grossing film in history is “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which took in $2.1 billion at the box office, reports Axios’ Troy Smith.
  • Cameron said that the future of his franchise would depend on how “The Way of Water” performed.

yes but: At least people are enjoying the film. “The Way of Water” currently holds a Rotten Tomatoes score of 78% from critics and 94% from audiences.

More from Axios:

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