The Way Of The Water’ Opening Compares To Other Major Films This Year


Avatar: The Way Of The Water grossed an estimated $134 million in its opening weekend, falling short of expectations, as it faces pressure to become profitable and live up to the first film’s record-breaking worldwide gross—here’s how it compares to other openings this year.

Key Facts

A less-than-record-breaking opening doesn’t mean automatic failure for a film: Top Gun: Maverick opened to roughly $126 million (the No. 7 opening of 2022), before it grossed about $1.48 billion worldwide and became the highest-grossing movie of the year.

In 2009, Avatar had an opening of over $77 million, before it went on to gross over $2.9 billion worldwide, more than any other film in history.

Openings can be predictors of how a movie will do overall and an indicator of how much audiences are interested in a film, which can in turn drum up more interest in it.

Biggest Domestic Openings Of 2022

  1. Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness — $187.4 million ($955 million worldwide gross)
  2. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever — $181.3 million ($786.4 million worldwide gross)
  3. Jurassic World: Dominion — $145 million ($1 billion worldwide gross)
  4. Thor: Love And Thunder — $144.1 million ($760.9 million worldwide gross)
  5. The Batman — $134 million ($770.8 worldwide gross)
  6. Avatar: The Way Of Water — $134 million ($434.5 worldwide gross)
  7. Top Gun: Maverick — $126.7 million ($1.48 billion worldwide gross)
  8. Minions: The Rise Of Gru — $107 million ($939.4 million worldwide gross)
  9. Sonic The Hedgehog 2 — $72.1 million ($402.6 million worldwide gross)
  10. Black Adam — $67 million ($390 million worldwide gross)

Surprising Fact

Most of the highest-grossing films this year were sequels or spin-offs of major films and franchises.

Key Background

Director James Cameron said The Way Of Water needed to be one of the highest-grossing films of all time for it to become profitable. It’s estimated the film cost over $350 million to make. Critics were largely receptive of the movie, hailing its beautiful visuals. It has a 94% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and an A grade on CinemaScore.

Further Reading

Avatar: The Way Of Water Tops Box Office Charts, But Slightly Underperforms Expectations (Forbes)

‘Avatar: The Way Of Water’ Rakes In $53 Million Opening Day—Which May Not Be Enough (Forbes)

Critics Call ‘Avatar: The Way Of Water’ A ‘Grand Slam’ And ‘Hugely Entertaining’ Ahead Of Debut (Forbes)

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