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Avatar: The Way of Water finished Thursday with an impressive global haul of $1.17 billion.
The movie, from 20th Century and Disney, is doing huge midweek business at the year-end holiday box office. On Thursday alone, The Way of Water earned another $67.9 million, including $20 million in North America — the biggest Thursday of the year — and $47.9 million overseas.
James Cameron’s big-budget sequel crossed the $1 billion mark globally on Tuesday, its 14th day in release. It is only the sixth film to achieve that milestone in its first two weeks of release, and the first to do so since Spider-Man: No Way Home, which was released in December 2021.
The Way of Water may have opened behind expectations early this month, but is quickly making up ground.
When doing press for the film, Cameron suggested it would need to earn in the $2 billion range to be considered a success (sources say the break-even number is around $1.4 billion). The Way of Water is one of the most expensive movies ever made, with an estimated production budget of more than $400 million and a marketing spend that brings the total price tag to at least $600 million, according to sources. It also runs three hours and 12 minutes, whereas the first Avatar ran 30 minutes shorter.
Cameron is known for defying the odds. Over the past 25 years, he has proven his naysayers wrong twice when Avatar, and a decade earlier, Titanic, became the top-grossing films of all time at the worldwide box office.
In December 2009, Avatar opened to a relatively modest $77 million on its way to grossing $2.92 billion globally (that includes rereleases).
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