Avatar 2 Is About To Crush Star Wars

Avatar 2 is about to make more money in 18 days than Star Wars: Rogue One did during the same time frame.

By Chris Snellgrove | Updated

Avatar 2 Star Wars

It has been easy for critics to mock James Cameron’s ambitious plans for his Avatar universe. With all these planned sequels, some have questioned whether this franchise has enough audience appeal to take on bigger sci-fi franchises. Now, though, Deadline reports that Avatar 2 is projected today to gross more money in 18 days than the Star Wars film Rogue One.

This lines up with the surprisingly consistent performance of this science-fiction blockbuster. In the face of everything from COVID concerns to insane weather, many thought Cameron’s movie would underwhelm at the box office. Instead, Avatar 2 has continued to gain steam and blast past performance projections, as evidenced by the movie outgrossing the Star Wars spinoff Rogue One in this 18-day period.

Speaking of exceeding projections, the sequel keeps performing better than the experts predicted for the past three weekends. For example, the movie was projected to earn $21 million this past Sunday, but it earned $24.4 million instead. In addition to helping Avatar 2 beat Rogue One’s overall gross, it also beat that Star Wars movie’s New Year’s Day gross (which was only $16.7 million).

Rogue One Star Wars
Star Wars: Rogue One

In terms of the 18-day gross, Avatar 2 is projected to reach $444.4 million today, whereas Star Wars: Rogue One only reached $440.9 million in the same time period. The reason that many have been comparing the two films’ performances is that Rogue One came out in 2016, and New Year’s Day 2017 was on a Sunday. In other words, comparing these two blockbuster movies’ performances on similar holiday weekends gives us a better chance to see whether or not James Cameron’s franchise really has legs or not.

It’s worth noting that Rogue One had the entire force of the Star Wars marketing machine behind it. And that film came out only one year after the popular and successful Star Wars: The Force Awakens, meaning this prequel movie came out well before the franchise’s reputation had been tarnished in the eyes of fans and critics alike. The fact that Avatar 2, a movie that doesn’t have nearly such a marketing machine or hype behind it, can outperform a Star Wars movie definitely bodes well for both this film’s future performance and all those sequel movies that Cameron is planning.

Of course, Avatar 2 surpassing Star Wars: Rogue One is somewhat ironic given the very different creative paths these respective franchises took. Due to fan backlash regarding the overuse of CGI in the Star Wars prequels, a hallmark of both the sequel trilogy and various spinoff movies and television shows is a return to using as many practical sets and effects as possible. In turn, James Cameron has used his films to innovate CGI in a way that George Lucas never dreamed of.

Given how well Avatar 2 has performed compared to Star Wars: Rogue One, we are excited to see if this movie can continue its momentum. James Cameron has previously stated that the movie would need to make $2 billion simply to break even, so the current success may just be a drop in the bucket of what the film will need to earn. However, based on Cameron’s runaway success so far, it looks like blue Na’vi warriors may be swimming around in that bucket in no time.