Coming out of its second weekend, James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water has banked an estimated $855.4M globally through Sunday. The sophomore session added $168.6M at the international box office in 52 markets for a $601.7M running cume.
Also overseas, 20th Century Studios/Disney’s highly-anticipated sequel passed Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Minions: The Rise of Gru to become the No. 3 biggest Hollywood grosser of 2022. It is also now the No. 5 studio title of the pandemic era and will soon top No Time to Die’s $613M.
The offshore drop from opening weekend was 42% (-38% when excluding China), and that’s with Christmas Eve falling on a Saturday and today being Christmas Day. Business on the 24th is generally quiet with cinemas in many markets closing early while the UK is traditionally closed on the 25th.
Some markets increased from last session, or had just single-digit dips, notably Israel (+22%), Hong Kong (-4%), France (-7%), Korea (-7%), Indonesia (-8%) and Ukraine (-9%).
Midweeks last week were very strong, rolling up to 69% of the opening Friday/Saturday/Sunday session last weekend (excluding China). The sci-fi epic is expected to continue that trend this week with vacations in full swing and a lot of holiday distractions in the rear-view.
China, the top market to date, dropped by 55% this weekend to add $25.9M for a local cume of $100.5M. The film had strong Saturday/Sunday play compared to Friday and ticketing site Maoyan has hiked its lifetime projection to RMB 1.11B ($160M). Still below the original movie’s (unadjusted) run back in 2010, but better than what we’ve been seeing given Covid concerns in the market.
Korea, Avatar: The Way of Water’s No. 2 market, also had strong Saturday/Sunday play and has grossed $53M so far. France ($52.3M), India ($37M) and Germany ($35.7M) round out the Top 5.
In IMAX, the Na’vi scored the format’s 3rd highest 2nd weekend ever with $27.6M globally. The offshore cume is $62.8M for $97M global. Individual market highlights include China where the IMAX total is $25.8M for 26.2% of the overall total. In France and Korea, IMAX sales were up on opening weekend; in France Way of Water is the biggest IMAX title ever while it’s No. 2 in such markets as India, Thailand and Vietnam. In 10-12 days of release, a total 40 markets have already seen Way of Water enter the Top 10 IMAX chart.
After debuting early overseas Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish added 28 markets for the holiday session, and grossed $16.5M in 53 total. The hold from last weekend was +6% and the cume through Sunday is $32.5M for $50.8M global, including Monday domestically, that’s an estimated $57.2M worldwide.
Excluding China, which had soft $358K start with heavy Covid impact, the opening markets are estimated to be in line with Sing 2, above Ferdinand and just below the first Sing.
The top opener was Mexico with $3.1M including paid previews. The market has been soft overall the past few weeks, with a focus on Christmas celebrations after two pandemic years during which audiences faced restrictions around the holiday. School vacations run until January 9 and the family audience should pick up after this weekend.
Germany has grossed $1.45M including previews, while Spain (with many cinemas closed for Christmas) is at $1.17M. The Friday there was well above the opening Friday of Sing 2 and in line with Ferdinand, Encanto and Kung Fu Panda 3. Netherlands is opening with an estimated $760K, including previews.
France leads all play at $8.6M (+46% this session), followed by Mexico and Italy ($3M). Tomorrow, Australia opens with Korea, Brazil and Japan to come in 2023.
Meanwhile, Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has cozied right up to the $800M mark worldwide with an estimated $799.5M through Sunday. Included in that is $373.8M from the international box office and $425.7M domestic. The Top 5 markets are the UK ($38.5M), Mexico ($35.5M), France ($30.6M), Brazil ($20.8M) and Australia ($19.2M).
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTABLE
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (DIS): $2.2M intl weekend (50 markets); $373.8M intl cume/$799.5M global
Whitney Huston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody (SNY): $2.6M intl weekend (31 markets); $2.6M intl cume/$7.9M global
Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical (SNY): $1.4M intl weekend (UK only); $19.7M UK cume