Avatar: The Way of Water is anticipated to smash records when Disney’s film is released this week, with analysts predicting at least $150 million in domestic ticket sales.
Over a decade has passed since the first film broke box office records. And to this day, James Cameron’s Avatar remains the highest-grossing picture in cinema history. However, it will only be a matter of time until we know whether the sequel to the blockbuster film will live up to the hype.
Avatar: The Way of Water is expected to make roughly $175 million in its first week, lagging “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” which made around $187 million when it was released in May.
“In the big picture, I’d expect a leggy box office run whose story won’t be told on opening weekend alone. This is not a comic book blockbuster with an apparent rabid fan base to front-load sales. James Cameron’s films have historically engaged general audiences deep into their theatrical windows. However, it’s worth considering that the box office climate has changed even since his previous Avatar film in 2009,” said Shawn Robbins, BoxOffice.com chief media analyst.
The original Avatar film did not start well. It barely made $77 million in its first week in 2009. However, the picture continued to play in theaters, increasing in popularity over time. It eventually broadcasted for 234 days in US theaters and overseas.
Consequently, the film grossed $760 million in the United States and another $2 billion worldwide sales. Fortunately, according to studios, Avatar: The Way of Water will face just a few tough challengers until February. As a result, it may follow in the footsteps of its predecessor.
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Avatar: The Way of Water must generate revenue
Avatar: The Way of Water will be accessible in 3D, giving spectators a more immersive experience. According to analysts, the movie’s delivery mechanism will be critical in selling it to the general public.
Disney and Cameron advertised the second Avatar film as one that people must view in 3D. This implies that ticket costs for the IMAX version of the film will be greater than usual. Furthermore, Cameron stated that the Avatar film must shatter historical film records to break even. It entails raising $2 billion internationally.
“I like difficult. I’m attracted by difficulty. Difficult is a fucking magnet for me. So I go straight to difficult. And I think it probably goes back to this idea that there are many smart, gifted, talented filmmakers out there that just can’t do the difficult stuff. So that gives me a tactical edge to do something nobody else has ever seen because the gifted people don’t fucking want to do it,” said Cameron.
According to EntTelligence, 3D tickets purchased in advance for Avatar: The Way of Water account for 56% of tickets sold during the film’s opening weekend. This suggests that the film will earn more money. Compared to a recent release, Marvel’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” had only 17% of its first-week ticket sales slated for 3D viewing. 3D tickets start at $16.50, while 2D tickets start at $12.50.
One of the finest prerequisites for the next Avatar film is its acceptance to air in China. Disney intends to collect a considerable sum from Chinese viewers, who number in the billions. The original Avatar film grossed around $265 million in China.
Beijing and other Chinese business centers are currently under lockdown due to increased Covid-19 infections. In addition, numerous people are surprised because China has been barring many Hollywood films from entering their nation, except Avatar.
“Chinese audiences have a strong appetite for the sequel. On leading ticketing app Maoyan, 1.24 million users had said they “want to see” The Way of Water, slightly more than those who indicated likewise before the release of China’s biggest 2021 film, The Battle at Lake Changjin, which earned $899 million,” wrote Patrick Brzeski.
“It’s very hard to predict the box office right now. It all depends on the lockdowns — and we have no idea exactly what the lockdown situation is going to look like across the whole of China next week,” explained Jimmy Wu, Lumiere Pavilions CEO.
“Then again, James Cameron has beaten the odds in China before. Among Chinese millennials, few titles are as stirringly nostalgic as the first Avatar. The movie was among the first wave of Hollywood blockbusters to sweep the country as it was entering its high-growth box office boom era of the late aughts — and Avatar became the biggest sensation of them all,” added Brzeski.
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The first Avatar movie in China
Many Chinese theater professionals believe The Way of Water will receive the same support as the previous film. When the first Avatar film was released, it was not well received. However, after people began watching it, it gathered traction and made millions, eventually accounting for a sizable portion of its global sales.
“Despite record snowfall and bitter cold, “Avatar” burned up China’s box office, earning about 35 million yuan ($5 million) Monday to set a record for a weekday opening here,” wrote Jonathan Landreth.
“The 22nd-century sci-fi movie could be on its way to confirming China as the 21st century’s second-highest-grossing territory for Hollywood blockbusters outside the US.”
“Although nearly a foot of snow blanketed China’s capital on Sunday and James Cameron’s $1 billion global box-office hit didn’t premiere here until midnight that night. Moviegoers still lined up in near-zero temperatures for half-price 40 yuan tickets ($5.85) and sold out the show at the Sanlitun Megabox theater.”
Photo Credit: Disney (The New York Times)
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