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‘Avatar: The Way of Water’s international ticket sales helped push it close to $900 million

Disney and James Cameron’s “Avatar: The Way of Water” made $56 million its second weekend in theaters, a 58% decrease from its opening weekend.

The majority of blockbuster films experience a 50% to 70% drop in ticket sales. This metric, also known as the second-week drop, is frequently used to determine whether a movie will remain popular at the box office or may quickly fade.

Films with a drop of less than 50% are expected to last for a long time, whereas films with a drop of more than 70% are likely to see ticket sales continue to fall sharply as the film fades from public view.

“The second-weekend drop for ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ puts it right in the zone of where it needs to be as this performance will set the tone for the ongoing box office journey for the film,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.

Analysts at the box office noted that the Christmas weekend’s storms and cold winter weather likely slowed ticket sales domestically.

International ticket sales also continue to flourish. For markets outside of the United States and Canada, the second-week decline was 43.9%. It was always anticipated that international ticket sales would account for at least 70% of “The Way of Water’s” box office, and that is exactly where the split stands as of Sunday.

Since its December 16 release, “The Way of Water” has sold 855 million tickets worldwide, including $254 million domestically and $601 million internationally. It is currently the fifth-highest-grossing 2022 release.

Skydance and Paramount’s “Top Gun: Maverick” with $1.48 billion worldwide, the current leader, followed by “Jurassic World: Dominion” ($1 billion), “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” ($952 million) from Disney and Marvel Studios, and Universal and Illumination’s “Minions: The Rise of Gru” ($939 million).

The earnings of “The Way of Water” are less than half of what Cameron predicted the film would need to make to be considered profitable. The “Avatar” sequel has room to run at the box office despite waning word of mouth, which has focused on stunning visuals marred by a lackluster plot.

Disney and Marvel’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” the next major blockbuster doesn’t come out in theaters until February 17, so “The Way of Water” hasn’t had much competition for a long time at the box office.

According to Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at, “January is absent much direct competition against the film.” If the Avatar sequel is going to meet long-term expectations at that point, it could make up for any perceived ground lost.

He stated, “We live in a world where the need for immediate gratification leads to early results being used as the final barometer of a film’s success.” Realistically, that may make sense occasionally, but it may not always. This is one of the last circumstances.”

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