Avatar: The Way of Water takes almost $900m globally, as storms slow US box office

James Cameron’s sci-fi epic sequel is the fifth-highest-grossing film of the year

The highly anticipated sci-fi sequel Avatar: The Way of Water is one of the highest-grossing films of 2022. Photo: 20th Century Studios
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James Cameron’s sci-fi epic Avatar: The Way of Water is already the fifth-highest-grossing film of the year, as reported by Variety, less than two weeks after its release, ringing up almost $900 million in global ticket sales.

Disney and 20th Century Studios' big-budget film has crossed $850 million globally, 10 days after its release in cinemas around the world.

The highly anticipated sequel has generated $600 million internationally and $253.7 million at the US domestic box office in spite of one of the the most severe "bomb cyclones" to hit North America in decades.

According to The-numbers.com, a site that tracks the business of movies, only two other big-budget films have hit the $1 billion mark in global ticket sales this year.

Paramount Pictures and Skydance’s Top Gun: Maverick, starring Tom Cruise, is the current leader, with $1.48 billion worldwide, followed by Universal’s Jurassic World: Dominion, starring Chris Pratt, at $1 billion.

Disney and Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, comes in third, grossing $952 million, while Universal and Illumination’s animated comedy Minions: The Rise of Gru grossed $937 million. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is sixth, grossing close to $800 million.

Cameron’s long-awaited sequel comes 13 years after the 2009 original, which remains the highest-grossing film of all time, making more than $2.9 billion at the box office. It knocked Cameron’s other critically acclaimed success, 1997's Titanic, off the top spot. It is now the third highest-grossing film of all time, making $2.2 billion. Avengers: Endgame, which was released in 2019, currently sits in second place, at $2.7 billion.

Avatar: The Way of Water is a star-studded film, with Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana and Sigourney Weaver reprising their roles alongside newcomers including Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Edie Falco and more.

Set almost 15 years after the first film, its story returns to Pandora and follows Jake Sully (Worthington), Neytiri (Saldana) and their newfound family facing a familiar threat that enters their lives. They are forced to become refugees and flee the Pandoran oceans alongside the Metkayina clan, where they must fight to protect their home and people.

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Updated: December 26, 2022, 12:42 PM