Avatar: The Way of Water Global Box Office Good But $100 Million Below Expectations


This weekend was the opening for the highly anticipated film ‘Avatar: The Way of Water.” The sequel to the highly successful 2009 ‘Avatar’ film. Early estimates put the film at $175 million domestic and $350 million over seas with a global take of around $525million-to even $550 million. However, the film did fall short of those expectations, but overall it still did well.

Estimates put the film at $175 million domestic but it came in at about $135 million. Since the film also received a release in China, estimates were expecting a huge global total, with China making up $200 million of it. The reality is that ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ came in at around $300 million globally giving it around a total of $435 million. Well below the $525 million -$550 million estimate.

Of course outlets like Forbes were quick to blame COVID in China for the lower number, but that is only one market, and can we please stop blaming the pandemic for every box office release that doesn’t hit estimates? That and apparently “The Flu” and “RSV.”

Still $435 million is nothing to be upset about. It doesn’t mean the film is a failure as it’s only it’s first weekend and it has plenty of time to pick up. What will be telling is the totals for it’s second weekend, even though it is a holiday. If it drops off significantly over the next couple of weeks it would mean people aren’t interested in the film or that “word-of-mouth” isn’t carrying it.

It’s far too soon to say this film is an “underperformer,” but it’s fair to point out that it missed global estimates by $90 million – $115 million. Disney needs a win with this film to boost confidence with investors. I’m sure they will try to boost this as much as they can.

If all else fails they can just re-release it theatrical a bunch of times to get the totals up. That’s what was done with the first film.

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