Avatar: The Way of Water tops box office with $435 million global debut

The original Avatar remains the highest-grossing movie of all time.

Avatar: The Way of Water made a big splash at the box office by taking $435 million (£356 million) worldwide on its opening weekend.

The long-awaited sequel to 2009’s Avatar grossed $134 million (£110 million) in North America and an additional $301 million (£247 million) overseas, bringing the total to $435 million, according to Variety.

It marks the third-biggest global debut in pandemic times, with it coming in behind Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

In terms of domestic box office, Avatar: The Way of Water fell short of expectations, which were between $150 million (£123 million) and $175 million (£143 million).

Deadline reported the sequel cost around $460 million (£377 million) to make before printing and advertising costs. Despite a less-than-stellar start, there are encouraging signs that The Way of Water will continue to do well at the box office over the coming weeks.

The original Avatar remains the highest-grossing film of all time and director James Cameron previously told GQ that the sequel would need to become the “third or fourth highest-grossing film in history” in order for it to “break even”.

Cameron filmed the follow-up, Avatar 3, at the same time as the sequel and it is scheduled to be released in December 2024. He hopes to make two more films – bringing the franchise to five – but their release is dependent upon the success of the second and third instalments.

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