Earning $45 million on its fourth weekend, James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water is the 7th highest-grossing film of all time! Much like the first movie, the film continues to defy expectations and is continuing its domination on the worldwide box office scene.

Avatar: The Way of Water is now at $525 million domestically and $1.749 billion worldwide. It appears that it will only be a matter of time before the James Cameron sequel reaches $2 billion at the worldwide box office.

THE LONG WAIT TO AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER

Avatar: The Way of Water was released on December 16, 2022, 13 years after its predecessor. Because of the first film’s success, James Cameron proceeded with production for sequels, originally scheduled for release in December 2014 and 2015. He planned to expand on the world of Pandora and its inhabitants, with the first sequel taking place in the seas and rainforests. To enhance the realism of each sequel, it required an evolution of technology to allow for a higher frame rate over the standard 24 frames per second.

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With the necessary advancement of motion capture technology, the complex writing process, and the COVID-19 pandemic, Avatar: The Way of Water and its follow-ups saw numerous delays in production and release dates. Initially, Cameron had a longer story for an Avatar sequel, but it was split to become The Way of Water and its sequel. He wrote a 130-page script titled Avatar: The High Ground but scrapped it for not taking enough unexpected turns while continuing what made the original film successful. With the film’s established characters, settings, and themes, Cameron wanted to organically extend them across the sequels.

Of the first film’s main cast, Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver, and Stephen Lang return for Avatar: The Way of Water. Worthington, Saldaña, and Lang reprise their roles as Jake Sully, Neytiri, and Miles Quaritch respectively, while Weaver plays Kiri, the adoptive daughter of Jake and Neytiri. To prepare for filming underwater scenes heavily featured in the film, everyone in the cast took free diving lessons.

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While underwater filming and performance capture have been done before, blending the two techniques had never been done before. It took almost a year and a half to develop the technology to simultaneously accomplish both tasks. Cameron has additionally stated the possibility of the film being glasses-free 3D but later retracted it believing that the technology has yet to reach that point.

AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER MAKES A SPLASH!

On its fourth weekend, Avatar: The Way of Water grossed $45 million at the box office, with a domestic total of $517 million and a worldwide total of $1.708 billion after its fourth frame. It surpassed Top Gun Maverick by $50 million, with that film’s fourth weekend trailing at $44.7 million. If The Way of Water continues its earnings streak, it could be the second-biggest fourth weekend of all time since its predecessor.

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Alongside Avatar: The Way of Water, films such as M3GAN, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, A Man Called Otto, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever celebrate their impressive box office totals. M3GAN earned $50 million against a budget of $12 million, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish garnered $210 million against $90 million, A Man Called Otto achieved $50 million against $13.8 million, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever made $831.9 million against $250 million. So far, it is looking to be a strong showing for the box office in the new year.

Avatar: The Way of Water is now in theaters. The next installment in the franchise is currently slated for a December 20, 2024 release. The fourth film is scheduled to release on December 18, 2026. And lastly, the planned fifth film is expected to release in 2028.

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Have you seen Avatar: The Way of Water? Do you feel it deserves to be one of the highest-grossing films of all time? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts on The Illuminerdi’s Twitter account.

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SOURCE: Box Office Mojo