After more than a decade in development Avatar: The Way of Water is finally a real movie in theaters where people can watch it. The sequel to the highest grossing movie of all time is certainly going to have some high expectations going into its opening weekend, and while Avatar: The Way of Water didn’t set any records with its preview audiences, it put up a very solid number, bringing in around $17 million.
While the early estimate for Thursday night previews may fluctuate as more date comes in, Deadline is reporting the $17 million number, which is a solid number that puts it in line with what The Batman did earlier this year. That movie went on to a $134 million opening weekend. If The Way of Water ends the weekend there it won’t be a record setter though it will be significantly more than the $77 million the first movie did in its opening, though that’s not adjusted for inflation.
While seeing Avatar 2 not setting box office records might appear at first to be bad news, it should be remembered that the first Avatar did the bulk of its business overseas, and the sequel is expected to follow suit in that regard. The film has opened in several international territories as well, including China, where it’s already off to a great start, and the movie is expected to bring in as much as $500 million globally by the end of this weekend, which is an impressive start.
It’s also being suggested that Avatar: The Way of Water may have stronger box office legs than most other blockbusters. While most major tentpole releases tend to have massive opening weekends and then see box office nearly crash through the floor, there is an expectation that won’t happen here and Avatar 2's box office will remain more consistent from week to week, which tends to be how the most successful movies operate.
In the case of Avatar viewers are wanting to see The Way of Water in specific formats, like in IMAX and/or 3D, and they want the best seats, leading more people than usual to potentially wait to see the movie until they get the situation they want. If this holds true, we could see box office remain steady for weeks to come.
Whether Avatar: The Way of Water becomes one of the highest grossing movies ever or not, it certainly appears to be on its way to being a success. This is good news for fans of the franchise. While Avatar 3 is mostly complete, and therefore all but assured to be released, there are two more Avatar movies written that still need to be filmed, and if these sequels didn’t perform, there was a certainly a possibility they might not happen.
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