IMAX Corporation announced Monday that Avatar: The Way of Water delivered a $48.8 million global opening weekend in IMAX theaters — the second biggest IMAX global opening of all time.
Avengers: Endgame continues to hold the record with a $91.5M IMAX global opening in 2019, although 2009’s original Avatar is the highest grossing film of all time in IMAX.
IMAX comprised an outsized 11.2% of Water‘s worldwide gross on just a fraction of total screens.
The North American box office led the way, where IMAX delivered $16.5M in domestic box office, or 12.3% of total receipts.
In China, the film earned a $15.8M opening weekend in IMAX, comprising its highest market share ever in the country: 27% of the total box office, on only 1% of total screens in the market.
International IMAX screens excluding China delivered $16.5M in box office, including the biggest IMAX opening weekend of all time in 11 markets: Belgium, Chile, Czech Republic, India, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Romania, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, and Vietnam.
In total, 41 international markets posted top five all-time IMAX opening weekends.
The film debuted with the widest IMAX global release of all time, with 1,543 screens, and will screen across the IMAX network through January in most global markets.
“Avatar: The Way of Water is a watershed achievement in filmmaking innovation and technology, and it’s clear that global audiences are choosing to see this film through the best technology for blockbuster entertainment in the world: IMAX,” CEO Rich Gelfond said in a press release. “As excited as we are about these early results, we anticipate a long and successful run for [the film] as more people around the world book their ticket to Pandora for the epic storytelling and unmissable visual splendor of what James Cameron and his team have created.”
“From our record-breaking results with the first Avatar to our outsized market share with its recent re-release, we believe there is powerful data to suggest that Avatar: The Way of Water will have strong legs at the global box office for IMAX and that fans will be filling our theatres for this one-of-a-kind cinematic experience well into the new year.”