Avatar: The Way Of Water Hits A Massive New Milestone
Avatar: The Way of Water is crossing the $1.5 billion mark to become the highest-grossing movie released in 2022.
Avatar: The Way of Water is officially becoming the highest-grossing movie released in 2022. Per Deadline, the James Cameron science fiction epic is will gross over $1.5 billion dollars at the combined domestic and international box offices, overtaking the previous champion, Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick. Whether this will be enough to recoup the enormous costs of the film is yet to be seen.
The box office grosses of Avatar: The Way of Water have been more closely watched than the average blockbuster film, which is logical considering it is the long-delayed sequel to the single highest-grossing movie ever made. Although the first Avatar movie was briefly dethroned by Avengers: Endgame in 2019, it shot right back to the top of the hill after a few re-releases, so expectations have been very high for Avatar: The Way of Water.
These expectations have been made even more clear by filmmaker James Cameron’s openness about the colossal expenditures of both time and money required by Avatar: The Way of Water. Although the franchise is a labor of love for Cameron, which he has been developing since the 1990s, he has stated that if audiences are not willing to show up to buy tickets for the movies, he will not continue making them. That said, $1.5 billion is a pretty big step toward covering costs.
Regardless of whether Avatar: The Way of Water makes enough money to guarantee that James Cameron spends the rest of his life beating Star Wars movies at the box office, we are going to get at least one more oddly named Avatar sequel. Reportedly, this next sequel will change the narrative a little bit and reveal a more negative side of the alien Na’vi people, who have heretofore been portrayed as benevolent and in touch with nature, unlike the warlike, corporatized humans.
Of course, that portrayal has also not sat well with some people, with Indigenous American activists calling for boycotts on Avatar: The Way of Water due to comments about Native American culture by James Cameron and alleged “blueface.” However, that does not seem to be affecting the box office of Avatar: The Way of Water all that much, given that it had a nearly unprecedented 0% drop in box office sales in its third week, even with a massive winter storm sweeping the United States.
One of the primary reasons why Avatar became the highest-grossing movie of all time is that it had staying power at the box office, with many audience members going back to see the visually acclaimed movie again and again. It opened to merely moderately positive numbers (much like Avatar: The Way of Water) but had above-average retention of those grosses week after week. It is entirely positive that its sequel will do the same and stick around in theaters for months until it recoups costs, and if it does, get ready for James Cameron to present Avatars 4, 5, 6, and beyond.