Avatar: The Way of Water has slipped from the box office Top 5 for the first time ever. The James Cameron sequel premiered at No. 1 on December 16, 2022, holding that spot for seven consecutive weeks on its way to grossing over $2 billion and becoming the No. 3 highest-grossing film of all time worldwide. It was eventually knocked down from No. 1 in the first weekend of February by Knock at the Cabin, with the subsequent releases Magic Mike’s Last Dance and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania then replacing the M. Night Shyamalan thriller at the top.
Per Deadline, the tremendous box office run of Avatar: The Way of Water is currently projected to take in an additional $3.3 million by the end of the weekend, reaching a cumulative domestic total of $670.3 million. That will place it at No. 6 in the weekend rankings, below Jesus Revolution, the new Demon Slayer film, Cocaine Bear, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and Creed III. This marks the first time the film has been out of the weekend’s Top 5, and the first time it has ranked lower than No. 4.
Avatar 2 Survived for So Long on a Lack of New Releases, But That’s Changing
It was more or less inevitable that Avatar: The Way of Water was going to be a box office juggernaut in some way, shape, or form. Considering the long delay after the original 2009 Avatar that helped it build up buzz and the fact that it was a successor to the film that still holds the all-time box office throne, there was a lot of attention on the release across the world. However, there was one box office factor that helped it succeed in addition to its inherent strengths.
The slate of films that came in the two months after Avatar: The Way of Water‘s release was incredibly thin, allowing the film to dominate as the only major entertainment option in theaters for quite some time. Although there was a substantial hit in early January 2023 with Blumhouse’s killer doll film M3GAN, the rest of January and February typically only had one major wide release per weekend, if any. While Avatar 2 could possibly have continued its run at No. 1 and No. 2 uninterrupted even if there were more releases, it found little challenge until the past few weeks.
The slate of films that March has coming up will likely keep Avatar: The Way of Water from re-entering the Top 5 unless it has the ability to bubble under the surface to wait for a lull and rise once more. Following Creed III‘s domination this weekend, 65 and Scream 6 are both waiting in the wings, with the latter projected to have the biggest opening of the entire Scream franchise. With that one-two punch next weekend, followed by films in the Shazam!, John Wick, and Dungeons & Dragons franchises, the winds seem to be turning against Avatar 2 in a major way.
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