In just 14 days, Avatar: The Way of Water has sold more than $1 billion worth of tickets worldwide, making it the fastest movie of 2022 to reach the coveted box office milestone. According to Variety, only three movies from 2022—Top Gun, Maverick, and Jurassic World: Dominion—were able to surpass the billion-dollar mark.
Meanwhile, nine movies released in 2019 surpassed $1 billion worldwide. The Way of the Water is the fastest to hit the mark since 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, which took 12 days. Only six movies in history have cleared $1 billion in their first two weeks of release.
James Cameron’s long-delayed sequel to Avatar opened in mid-December with $134 million in North America and $435 million globally, and it’s remained a huge draw in the days since its release. So far, the Disney and 20th Century Fox film has generated $317.1 million in North America and $712.7 million overseas, bringing its global tally to $1.025 billion.
It’s surpassed Jurassic World Dominion as the second-highest-grossing movie of the year, and it’s the third-highest of the pandemic era.
Avatar 2 looks to stay strong into the new year, which is necessary to justify its massive price tag. Cameron estimated the $350 million-budgeted movie needs to generate roughly $2 billion to break even, though analysts believe the threshold to profitability is probably closer to $1.5 billion.
There’s a lot riding on The Way of Water, not just because of its huge price tag but also because it’s the first of three planned follow-ups in Cameron’s otherworldly series.
The original Avatar was released in 2009 and stands as the highest-grossing film release in history with $2.97 billion worldwide.