There’s only a few days left in 2022, but one of this year’s final movie releases has managed to squeeze in a major accomplishment right before we cross into 2023. Arriving 13 years after the first Avatar movie, Avatar: The Way of Water has been playing in theaters for two weeks now, and it’s now joined its predecessor in crossing the $1 billion mark worldwide. It’s now the just the third 2022 movie that’s been able to hit this impressive milestone.
At the time of this writing, Avatar: The Way of Water’ global total sits at $1.025 billion worldwide, with $317.1 million coming from North America and $712.7 million coming from overseas, per Variety. It’s only the sixth movie to have ever cleared $1 billion within two weeks of its release. The other two movies that crossed $1 billion this year were Top Gun: Maverick and Jurassic World Dominion, with the former doing so in 31 days and the latter taking more than four months to do so. The Way of Water has soared past Dominion’s $1.003 billion, and while Maverick will ultimately reign supreme at the 2022 box office with $1.488 billion, it’s entirely possible that the Avatar sequel could surpass that amount in 2023.
So 2022 will end with three movies crossing $1 billion worldwide, an improvement over 2021, which saw only Spider-Man: No Way Home hitting that mark. Obviously this is a big deal for Avatar: The Way of Water, but in terms of being declared a financial success across the board, it still has a ways to go. With a reported budget of around $350 million (which doesn’t include at least $100 million in marketing fees), director/co-writer James Cameron has said that the sequel will need to hit $2 billion to break even, though industry analysts believe it will become profitable once it comes to $1.5 billion. The first Avatar movie ended its original theatrical run with $2.749 billion worldwide, and thanks to re-releases, its current total stands at $2.923 billion.
Let’s also not forget that Avatar: The Way of Water paves the way for three planned sequels that have been in development for well over a decade. While Avatar 3 will make its way to the pubic in a couple years, Avatar 4 and 5’s respective releases aren’t guaranteed just yet, so the more money The Way of Water can rake in, the better their chances of being made. Cameron has even thought about the possibility of Avatar 6 and 7, although he would pass on the directorial reins to another filmmaker if those were to move forward.
For those of you who’ve seen Avatar: The Way of Water, don’t forget to read our breakdown of the sequel’s ending and our reasoning behind why Avatar 3’s release should be pushed up to December 2023. Speaking of next year, it’s never too early to start planning what 2023 movie releases you’ll be making time to watch.
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Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.