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‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ glides to $1 billion faster than any other 2022 film

A blue CGI woman holds a bow and arrow while interacting with a blue CGI man in a fiery landscape
Zoe Saldana as Neytiri, left, and Sam Worthington as Jake Sully “Avatar: The Way of Water.”
(20th Century Studios)
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Disney and 20th Century Studios’ “Avatar: The Way of Water” has officially surpassed $1 billion at the global box office faster than any other film released this year, the studio giant announced Wednesday.

As of Tuesday, James Cameron‘s motion-capture blockbuster had amassed $1.03 billion. It is the sixth title ever to reach this milestone within the first two weeks of its release and the first to achieve this feat since Sony Pictures’ “Spider-Man: No Way Home” crossed a billion late last year, according to Disney.

Over the Christmas weekend, “Avatar: The Way of Water” topped the worldwide box office for the second consecutive week with $224.6 million for a global cumulative of $855.4 million, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore. During its opening weekend, “Avatar: The Way of Water” grossed $134 million at the domestic box office and an additional $301 million internationally.

While James Cameron’s ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ dominated the weekend box office, it remains to be seen whether the film will prove a true success.

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Directed by Cameron, “Avatar: The Way of Water” stars Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang and Kate Winslet. The action epic received a solid 78% fresh rating on review-aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, and a good A-grade from audiences polled by CinemaScore.

“Cameron’s return trip to Pandora has been long in the making and nearly as long in the mocking,” Times film critic Justin Chang wrote in his review.

“More than a few have expressed exasperation with the director’s ever-outsized ambitions and even cast doubt on the first ‘Avatar’ pop-cultural legacy. It’s hardly the first time Cameron has been dinged in advance for an Olympian folly, and if the pattern holds, this latest and most ambitious picture will stun most of his naysayers into silence.”

By Wednesday morning, the hit sequel had bested Universal Pictures’ “Jurassic World Dominion” as the second-biggest global release of the year and the third-biggest global release of the pandemic era. For now, Paramount Pictures’ “Top Gun: Maverick” is still the highest-grossing movie of 2022 with a global cumulative of $1.49 billion, while “Spider-Man: No Way Home” maintains the record for the highest-grossing film of the pandemic era with a global cumulative of $1.92 billion, according to Comscore.

Director James Cameron’s sci-fi sequel “Avatar: The Way of Water” dominates at the box office for a second straight week.


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