Since its release, James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water has surpassed numerous box office records, even surpassing his own iconic film.
Since its release on December 26th, 2022, James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water has been obliterating box office records with remarkable success. This sequel emerged following the monumental triumph of the original Avatar film, which debuted back in 2009. Avatar swiftly climbed to the pinnacle of box office glory, dethroning Titanic and reigning as the highest-grossing film of all time for a decade until Avengers: Endgame claimed the crown in 2019. However, two years later, Avatar reclaimed its coveted position, relegating Endgame to second place and Titanic to third. While Cameron initially announced a sequel shortly after Avatar’s release in January 2010, the production took significantly longer than anticipated to materialize.
Set 15 years after the events of the first film, Avatar: The Way Of The Water introduces us to a new chapter in the lives of Jake Sully and Neytiri. They have expanded their family, now blessed with five children. Among them are two sons, Neteyam and Lo’ak, a daughter named Tuk, and additionally, they have embraced two adopted children, Kiri and Spider. The film delves into their familial journey as the RDA (Resources Development Administration) returns to Pandora due to Earth’s impending ecological collapse, setting the stage for a series of tumultuous events. While James Cameron has confirmed the existence of three more Avatar movies, he candidly admitted that their creation would hinge on the success of Avatar: The Way Of The Water. Fortunately, the sequel has not only shattered impressive records at the box office but also granted Cameron the opportunity to proceed with the planned film series.
5.James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water Achieves Highest Opening Weekend
Avatar: The Way of Water made a remarkable impact on its opening weekend, raking in an estimated $134 million. This outstanding achievement not only surpassed all of Cameron’s previous films but also marked his first-ever $100 million opening weekend. While initial predictions fell short of the film’s actual performance, it’s worth noting that the original Avatar grossed $77 million during its opening weekend in 2009.
When examining Cameron’s earlier works, The Terminator (1984) accumulated $4 million, The Abyss (1989) grossed $9.3 million, Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) soared to $31.8 million, True Lies (1994) garnered $25.9 million, and Titanic, which reigned as the highest-grossing movie for over a decade, attained $28.6 million during its opening weekend. It is crucial to consider inflation, but the staggering leap from $4 million in Cameron’s early films to $134 million with Avatar: The Way of Water after 39 years is truly remarkable.
4.Avatar: The Way of Water Claims Title of Highest Grossing Film in 2022
Top Gun: Maverick made an impressive achievement as the second pandemic-era film to reach the $1 billion milestone, closely following Spider-Man: No Way Home. However, its aspiration to become the highest-grossing film of 2022 was dashed when Avatar: The Way of Water hit theaters. The Avatar sequel soared to extraordinary heights, amassing a staggering $1.5 billion in 2022, surpassing Top Gun’s impressive $1.48 billion.
Released on May 27th, 2022, the Top Gun sequel enjoyed months of dominance in the box office, surpassing even Jurassic World Dominion, another billion-dollar earner for the year. However, James Cameron’s unwavering dedication and hard work on his science fiction masterpiece paid off. Despite its release just two weeks before the year’s end, Cameron’s creation usurped Tom Cruise’s highest-grossing film, securing the coveted #1 position.
3.Avatar 2: First Pandemic Film to Surpass $2 Billion
The Covid-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the film industry, resulting in prolonged closures of movie theaters and a shift towards streaming services. Even after reopening, lingering concerns about public gatherings affected moviegoers’ attendance. This led to relatively low box office numbers for many films, such as the remake of West Side Story directed by Stephen Spielberg, which only managed to gross $10 million during its opening weekend, despite its $100 million production cost.
However, the landscape changed a week later with the release of Spider-Man: No Way Home, which became the first pandemic-era film to cross the $1 billion mark at the box office. Top Gun: Maverick and Jurassic World Dominion followed suit, but James Cameron’s Avatar shattered records by becoming the first pandemic-era film to achieve the remarkable milestone of $2 billion in box office earnings. Given Cameron’s previous box office successes, this achievement comes as no surprise. It is evident that his cinematic prowess remains potent, drawing fans to theaters even thirteen years after the original Avatar captivated audiences worldwide.
2.James Cameron: Sole Director with 3 Films Surpassing $2 Billion
James Cameron’s remarkable achievement of having three films surpass the $2 billion milestone sets him apart from all other directors. Currently, Cameron holds an impressive three films in the top five highest-grossing movies of all time, an accomplishment unparalleled by any other director. While Avengers: Endgame currently occupies the top spot, Cameron’s influence is such that he could potentially displace it, positioning his films in the top three slots.
Having already recaptured the #1 position with Avatar, a remarkable 12 years after its initial release, Cameron’s upcoming Avatar sequels hold the potential to secure the #2 spot with equal ease. Following the successful Valentine’s Day 25th anniversary re-release, Titanic witnessed a surge in box office revenue, although it still requires over $500 million to compete with Endgame. Nevertheless, Cameron’s unparalleled achievements cannot be understated. Given his extraordinary track record, it is highly likely that his forthcoming Avatar sequels will also join the coveted $2 billion club. This signifies that any filmmaker aspiring to reach the pinnacle of box office success will inevitably have to contend with James Cameron’s formidable presence.
1.Avatar: The Way of Water Surpasses Titanic, Securing Box Office #3 Spot
In December 1997, James Cameron captivated audiences with the timeless love story of Jack Dawson and Rose Dewitt Bukater in Titanic. The film not only became a cultural phenomenon but also tied for the most-awarded film in Oscar history, triumphing with 11 wins out of 14 nominations. It held the crown as the highest-grossing film of all time for 12 years until it was dethroned by Avatar, slipping to the #2 position. In 2019, Avengers: Endgame pushed Titanic further down to #3. When Avatar: The Way of Water was released, it initially held the #4 spot, with Cameron’s 1997 masterpiece still retaining its grip on #3. However, as of February 2023, the Avatar sequel has triumphed over Titanic and now stands as the third highest-grossing film of all time. This achievement is a testament to the immense accomplishment of surpassing Titanic, a feat that took twelve years for Cameron’s first Avatar to achieve and another decade for the Marvel film to push Titanic to the #3 position. It is clear that besting Titanic represents a significant milestone.
Avatar: The Way of Water has been captivating audiences for over two months in theaters, and while the initial excitement may have subsided, the film continues to reach new heights. With four Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, the upcoming awards show provides an opportunity to generate additional buzz and draw more viewers to the Avatar sequel, just as the Oscars propelled Titanic’s box office success. While Cameron’s film still has a considerable distance to cover to surpass Avengers: Endgame, the possibilities remain open for the director who has spent over 20 years at the helm of the box office.