Avatar: The Way of Water (domestic)
20th Century Studios’ sci-fi sequel Avatar: The Way of Water dropped -58% in its sophomore frame to $56.0M, more than doubling the cumulative debuts of the three new titles to hit theaters this Christmas weekend, all of which fell below expectations.
After earning the #37 opening weekend of all time ($134.1M), on the lower end of pre-release projections, it now earns the #49 second weekend of all time, a slight drop on that ranking.
Its “mid-50s” weekend also falls slightly steeper than projections, which were generally in the mid-$50M to low-$60M range.
Compared to other James Cameron films, Water’s sophomore drop was far steeper than:
- 1997’s Titanic (+24%)
- 2009’s Avatar (-2%)
- A bit steeper than September’s Avatar theatrical re-release (-52%)
Compared to other comparable $100M+ openers from 2022, it was steeper than:
- May’s Top Gun: Maverick (-29%)
- March’s The Batman (-50%)
- July’s Minions: The Rise of Gru (-57%)
However, it was a milder drop than:
- June’s Jurassic World: Dominion (-59%)
- November’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (-63%)
- May’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (-67%)
- July’s Thor: Love and Thunder (-68%)
Compared to the other biggest December openings from the past decade, it was steeper than:
- 2018’s Aquaman (-23%)
- 2014’s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (-25%)
- 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens (-40%)
- 2012’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (-56%)
- 2013’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (-57%)
However, it was milder drop than:
- 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (-59%)
- 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (-59%)
- 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home (-67%)
- 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi (-67%)
Through 10 days, Water has earned $253.6M. That’s:
- -46% below Spider-Man: No Way Home ($470.4M)
- -14% below Top Gun: Maverick ($295.6M)
- -11% below Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ($287.1M)
- +19% above Avatar ($212.7M)
- 2.86x above Titanic ($88.4M)
Avatar: The Way of Water (overseas / global)
Overseas, Water has earned $601.7M, for a $855.4M global total. Top overseas totals to date include:
- China ($100.5M)
- South Korea ($53.0M)
- France ($52.3M)
- India ($37.0M)
- Germany ($35.7M)
- U.K. ($30.3M)
- Mexico ($26.3M)
- Australia ($20.4M)
- Italy ($18.4M)
- Brazil ($16.9M)
So far, the film has earned 70.3% of its global total from overseas. That’s less than Avatar during its original run, at 72.7% overseas.
So far, China’s $100.5M has comprised 49% of the amount Avatar earned there during its original run ($202.6M).
Maverick is currently the highest-grossing release of 2022, both domestically ($718.7M) and globally ($1.48B). Currently, Water currently seems a more likely contender to defeat Maverick globally than domestically, particularly because it’s receiving a China release while Maverick did not.
Right now, Water is the #5 film from 2022 globally, behind Maverick ($1.48B), Dominion ($1.00B), Multiverse ($955.7M), and Gru ($939.4M).
Right now, it’s slightly lower on the domestic ranking at #8, behind those aforementioned films plus Wakanda, The Batman, and Thunder.
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
The Universal / DreamWorks animation sequel Puss in Boots: The Last Wish debuted in second place with a $11.3M three-day weekend gross. That’s below pre-release projections, which were closer to the $15M-$17M range.
The film earned an “A” CinemaScore, with an audience that was an estimated 50% male, 34% Hispanic, and 56% younger than age 18.
Since the film was released last Wednesday, its five-day total stands at $18.2M. Compared to the five-day totals for other comparable films, that’s:
- -52% below 2011’s Puss in Boots ($38.6M)
- -37% below July’s DC League of Super Pets ($29.3M)
Compared to other comparable December animated releases from the past dozen years, its five day total is:
- -38% below 2011’s Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked ($29.4M)
- -14% below 2015’s Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip ($21.2M)
- -18% below 2019’s Spies in Disguise ($22.2M)
- -57% below 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse ($42.4M)
- -67% below 2016’s Sing ($55.8M)
- -51% below December 2021’s Sing 2 ($37.9M)
The Shrek / Puss in Boots series has shown consistently diminishing openings since the high water marks of the second and third installment:
- 2004’s Shrek 2 ($108.0M opening / $128.9M five-day total after opening on a Wednesday)
- 2007’s Shrek the Third ($121.6M opening)
- 2010’s Shrek Forever After ($70.8M)
- 2011’s spinoff Puss in Boots continued the decline ($34.0Mopening / $38.6M through five days)
Overseas, Wish has earned $32.5M from 53 markets, for a $50.7M global total. The film had previously begun its overseas rollout earlier in December. Top overseas totals to date include:
- France ($8.6M)
- Mexico ($3.1M)
- Italy ($3.0M)
- Germany ($1.4M)
- Spain ($1.1M)
I Wanna Dance with Somebody
Sony Pictures’ Whitney Houston biopic I Wanna Dance with Somebody failed to connect with audiences, opening in third place with a $5.3M bow. That’s below pre-release projections, which were around $9M-$10M.
Somebody opens -39% below 2021’s Respect, the biopic about Aretha Franklin, which was itself considered a box office disappointment ($8.8M).
Compared to the opening weekends for other musician biopics, Somebody also starts:
- -83% below June’s Elvis ($31.2M)
- -89% below 2018’s Bohemian Rhapsody, about Freddie Mercury and Queen ($51.0M)
- -91% below 2015’s Straight Outta Compton, about N.W.A. ($60.2M)
- -79% below 2019’s Rocketman, about Elton John ($25.7M)
- -80% below 2017’s All Eyez on Me, about Tupac ($26.4M)
- -76% below 2005’s Walk the Line, about Johnny Cash ($22.3M)
- -74% below 2009’s Notorious, about the Notorious B.I.G. ($20.4M)
- -73% below 2004’s Ray, about Ray Charles ($20.0M)
Overseas, the film debuted with $2.6M in 31 markets, for a $7.9M global total.
Paramount’s Roaring Twenties comedy Babylon opened to a fourth place debut of $3.5M. That’s below the “already low” pre-release projections closer to the $6M-$7M range.
It’s far lower than the wide openings or biggest weekends for:
- -45% below October’s Amsterdam, also set in the 1920s and also starring Margot Robbie ($6.4M)
- -72% below February’s Death on the Nile ($12.8M)
- -67% below the wide opening of 2002’s Chicago, another Roaring Twenties-set film ($10.7M)
- -40% below the biggest weekend of 2011’s Midnight in Paris, also set in the 1920s ($5.8M)
- -76% behind the biggest weekend for writer-director Damien Chazelle’s 2016 La La Land ($14.5M)
- Although not in the same genre, -78% behind the opening for Chazelle’s prior theatrical release, 2018’s First Man ($16.0M)
[Read Boxoffice PRO’s interviews with Babylon composer Justin Hurwitz here and costume designer Mary Zophres here.]
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
In its seventh weekend, the Disney / Marvel Studios superhero sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever fell -43% to $3.0M and sixth place.
Wakanda has now earned the:
- #13 opening weekend of all time ($181.3M)
- #27 second weekend of all time ($66.4M)
- #13 third weekend of all time ($45.5M)
- A sharp drop to the #80 fourth weekend of all time ($17.5M)
- #92 fifth weekend of all time ($11.2M)
- Last frame, in its sixth weekend, it dropped out of the top 100 of all time
Compared to 2018’s original Black Panther, Wakanda’s weekends have come in:
- Opening weekend: -10%
- Second weekend: -40%
- Third weekend: -31%
- Fourth weekend: a notably steeper -57%
- Fifth weekend: -58%
- Sixth weekend: -68%
- Now, in its seventh weekend: -73%
With $425.6M domestically to date, Wakanda is currently the #2 film released in 2022 domestically, behind Maverick.
Overseas, Wakanda has earned $373.8M, for a $799.5M global total. That’s the #5 global title released in 2022 so far, behind Maverick, Jurassic World: Dominion, Multiverse, and Minions: The Rise of Gru.
Total box office this weekend came in around $84.2M, which is:
- -45% below last weekend’s total ($152.8M), when Avatar: The Way of Water led with $134.1M.
- -70% below the equivalent weekend in 2021 ($282.9M), when Spider-Man: No Way Home led with $260.1M.
- -66% below the equivalent weekend in the last pre-pandemic year 2019 ($247.8M), when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker led with $177.3M.
Year-to-date box office stands around $7.19B. That’s:
- +71.4% above this same point in the pandemic recovery year of 2021 ($4.19B), down from +82.6% after last weekend.
- –33.8% behind this same point in 2019, the last pre-pandemic year ($10.87B), down from -33.3% after last weekend. The peak was around -29.5%, set in mid-July.
- Universal ($1.49B)
- Disney ($1.34B)
- Paramount ($1.29B)
- Warner Bros. ($934.1M)
- Sony Pictures ($854.1M)
- 20th Century Studios, owned by Disney ($428.0M)
Sunday’s Studio Weekend Estimates:
|Title||Estimated weekend||% change||Locations||Location change||Average||Total||Weekend||Distributor|
|Avatar: The Way of Water||$56,000,000||-58%||4,202||$13,327||$253,681,686||2||20th Century Studios|
|Puss in Boots: The Last Wish||$11,350,000||4,099||$2,769||$18,253,000||1||Universal|
|I Wanna Dance With Somebody||$5,300,000||3,625||$1,462||$5,300,000||1||Sony Pictures|
|Black Panther: Wakanda Forever||$3,022,000||-43%||2,250||-1,130||$1,343||$425,677,401||7||Walt Disney|
|Strange World||$410,000||-81%||1,390||-1,480||$295||$35,599,242||5||Walt Disney|
|Empire of Light||$71,000||-68%||350||-86||$203||$667,584||3||Searchlight|
|The Banshees of Inisherin||$36,000||-64%||80||-85||$450||$8,891,686||10||Searchlight|
|Ticket to Paradise||$24,000||-86%||105||-426||$229||$68,062,570||10||Universal|
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