Field Place of work Milestone: ‘Avatar 2’ Sails Previous $2B Globally

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Avatar: The Way of Water has become only the sixth film in history to crossed the $2 billion mark at the worldwide box office, not adjusted for inflation. The movie’s performance is a huge victory for director James Cameron, who is the only filmmaker to have directed films achieving the milestone.

Disney announced Sunday that the big-budget sequel will finish the weekend with a worldwide total of $2.024 billion, the best showing of the pandemic era. It has earned $598 million domestically and $1.426 billion overseas, including a hefty $230 million from China.

The first Avatar, released 13 years ago, remains the top-grossing film of all time with $2.9 billion in global ticket sales, including rereleases. Cameron’s Titanic is also part of the club ($2.19 billion). In terms of other top global earners, Avengers: Endgame ranks No. 2 behind the first Avatar ($2.79 billion).

The of Water is just days away from overtaking Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($2.07 billion and Avengers: Infinity War ($2.05 billion) to rank No. 4 on the list of all-time grossing movies.

When promoting The of Water, Cameron indicated it would ultimately need to earn in the $2 billion range to be considered a smash success. The sequel cost Disney and 20th Century north of $400 million to produce before marketing.

Cameron’s film has been a bright spot for the box office since unfurling in mid-December and has remained at the top of the chart. Over the Jan. 20-22 frame — its sixth weekend in release — the tentpole easily came in No. 1 domestically with $19.7 million domestically. Thanks in large part to Avatar 2, revenue so far for 2023 is up more than 63 percent from the same period in 2022.

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Other holdovers doing solid business include Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, adult dramedy A Man Called Otto and sci-fi horror pic M3GAN. New mystery thriller Missing placed No. 5 behind the trio of films with a respectable launch of $9.3 million, thanks to younger female adults.

The other new movie opening nationwide over the Jan. 20-22 weekend was anime pic That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime the Movie: Scarlet Bond, which took in a muted $1.5 million.