James Cameron’s “Avatar: The Way of Water” sequel took flight at the box office yesterday, earning $53 million on its opening day, with projections indicating that the Avatar sequel movie will bring in $130 million to $150 million domestically in its opening weekend at the box office.
Avatar: The Way of Water, which advertises a runtime of three hours and 12 minutes, is performing considerably ahead of the first Avatar film’s opening weekend in December 2009. James Cameron’s sequel film marks the sixth-best opening day in December history behind Spider-Man: No Way Home and four Star Wars films.
$17M of the $53M reported in opening day earnings comes from Thursday evening previews. Though the Avatar sequel film has brought in $53 million through Thursday previews and a Friday opening, EntTelligence reported that 47 percent of weekend presales were for Saturday and Sunday. With a production cost of considerably more than $350 million, James Cameron has remarked that Avatar: The Way of Water would need to bring in at least $2 billion to be considered a success.
Though opening weekend numbers may be a good indicator of the movie’s potential, its real test will be found in its staying power, relying on positive reviews to keep theatre traffic flowing in to see the film on the big screens, through the holidays, and beyond. Though Avatar: The Way of Water is currently outperforming the original Avatar film, its predecessor went on to become the top-grossing film of all time at the worldwide box office with nearly $3 billion in ticket sales.
You can check out several clips from Avatar: The Way of Water released at D23 for a quick look at what can be expected from the second Avatar film. As previously announced, Sigourney Weaver makes her return, but this time as teenager Kiri. Her original character, Dr. Grace Augustine, died in “Avatar.” “Avatar 3” was filmed at the same time as “Avatar: The Way of Water.”
If you’re looking for something to wear, more new “Avatar: The Way of Water” merchandise is available in Pandora – The World of Avatar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, including plush ilu and skimwings.