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Battle at the Box Office 12/19/22

Surprising no one, Avatar: The Way of Water had a huge opening weekend, although it wasn’t quite up to some of the sky-high predictions leading into the weekend.

Avatar: The Way of Water opened to $134 million domestically over the weekend and currently is just under $442 million worldwide.  It’s the biggest opening ever for director James Cameron.  Various analysts and industry sites were putting out predictions and expectations of $150-170 million for The Way of Water’s opening weekend, so against that, it may be slightly disappointing.  It is over $57 million more than the original Avatar made in 2009 but that movie had absurd staying power where more and more people kept showing up week after week and many people saw it multiple times.  The true test for The Way of Water will be if it has similar staying power over the upcoming holiday weekend and into 2023.  James Cameron has publically said he thinks the movie needs $2 billion worldwide to be profitable, which feels like a tall order.  The movie has a strong A Cinemascore, so word of mouth should be good going into weekend two.

In a distant, distant second was Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which took in another $5.4 million, dropping 52% from last weekend.  Black Panther was on top of the charts for five weeks and has made $418.9 million domestically and over $776 million worldwide.

Violent Night, Strange World, and Devotion rounded out the top 5.  Strange World is already heading to Disney+ at the end of this week, so Disney seems to have acknowledged and given up on its theatrical run.  Strange World has only made just under $57 million worldwide for four weeks out.

Further down the list, a special Fathom events showing of It’s A Wonderful Life took 8th place with $734,571 in 960 theaters.

The Per Theater average went to Avatar as well, with The Way of Water taking in $31,890 in each of the 4,202 theaters it was playing in.

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