At the Domestic Box Office, “Avatar: the Way of Water” Has Earned Over $538 Million

Avatar: The Way of Water has maintained its audience interest over the holiday period, and the movie is poised to win its fifth consecutive weekend at the top of the domestic box office. An additional $7 million on its fifth Friday brings the domestic total for the epic science fiction sequel to $538 million. It’s still doing better than the first Avatar did at this stage in its lifetime (about $500 million), but it’s losing steam.

By the end of the extended four-day MLK weekend, the picture is projected to have earned $566 million at the domestic box office, surpassing the $550 million milestone by Sunday. Estimates for The Way of Water’s box office take have dropped only 36% from the previous weekend, with an expected $29 million over the standard three-day weekend and $36 million throughout the four-day holiday window. The film has now surpassed $1.7 billion in worldwide ticket sales, making it 2022’s highest-earning picture.

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Domestically, it is currently behind Top Gun: Maverick ($718 million), but by Sunday it will have surpassed the lifetime total of The Lion King remake ($543 million), moving it up to the thirteenth slot on the all-time list. The picture is now the 14th highest-grossing domestic release of all time, surpassing The Dark Knight ($535 million) in the process.


Universal’s M3GAN is holding surprisingly well for a horror film, and will likely take second place thanks to positive reviews and word of mouth. After a second Friday of $4.8 million, the sci-fi horror film about dolls is expecting a weekend-to-weekend decrease of roughly 42%, landing at a total of around $17.5 million.

The film is expected to earn over $20 million over the extended four-day session, bringing its running domestic total to just under $60 million. That’s a good showing for a movie that supposedly only cost $12 million to make, and it’s another success for Jason Blum and Blumhouse Pictures.

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A Man Called Otto, starring Tom Hanks, is an adaptation of a best-selling Swedish novel, and it has found strong support among an older demographic. Recently, Hanks co-starred in another film that was a smashing success among an older demographic.

The picture earned $4 million on its first day of wide distribution, and industry projections have it earning $14 million during the long weekend, for a grand total of over $20 million in the United States. In a stunning turn of events, on Monday A Man Called Otto will have earned more money than filmmaker Damien Chazelle’s star-studded Babylon.


Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, also from Universal, is expected to do well enough to take the number four spot. The sequel to the 2003 film Puss in Boots, which was a spinoff of the successful Shrek series, gained $3 million on its fourth Friday and is projected to earn $16 million for the weekend. Most importantly, in the next few days, the film’s domestic gross will top $100 million.

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The plane, the newest Gerard Butler action vehicle, closed out the top five. This film is only rivaled in its memetic potential by M3GAN. The film made $3.5 million on Friday, putting its four-day total between $10.5 million and $11.7 million. The plane, which reportedly cost $20 million to make, appears to be another successful project for Butler.

Even though The Way of Water won’t be able to top its predecessor, which is still the highest-grossing film of all time worldwide, it will continue to perform for at least a few more weeks thanks to little competition and genuine audience enthusiasm.


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