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‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ To Rule MLK Weekend; ‘Plane’ & ‘House Party’ Open While Hanks’ ‘A Man Called Otto’ Expands

Moviegoers have plenty of options over this long Martin Luther King Jr. weekend with two new releases: Plane and House Party, and the wide expansion of A Man Called Otto. With that said, we are slated for a repeat of last weekend with Avatar: The Way of Water and M3GAN remaining on top. Avatar: TWOW may very well rule through January and match the seven weekends at number one of the first Avatar, which holds the record for being the only film of the past 25 years to score a septuple (the last film to do so before that was James Cameron’s own Titanic with 15 weekends at number one).

‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Stays On Top With $45 Million, Races To $517 Million Domestic & $1.7 Billion Worldwide To Become 7th Highest Global Grosser Ever; ‘M3GAN’ Smashes Expectations With $30 Million Start

While Avatar: The Way of Water remains the major box office story one week into the new year and should continue to dominate in the weeks ahead, this weekend the film received a worthy companion to help power the January box office. The sci-fi horror film M3GAN, which comes from the lucrative Blumhouse/James Wan partnership, smashed expectations to boast a frighteningly good $30.2 million opening. That wasn’t enough to dethrone James Cameron’s latest epic, which grossed $45 million in its fourth weekend, but the two films were able to carry an overall box office of $104 million. It’s the first weekend since July where two films grossed above $20 million, the sixth weekend since July where the overall box office hit the nine-digits, and the second time since July that two weekends in a row did so. Unfortunately, the top two films made up 72% of the overall box office, and just one other film even grossed above $5 million (compare this to Jan 10-12, 2020 when the entire top ten was above $5 million). As well as some of the individual films are performing, the box office blues will continue until the overall slate picks up.

‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ To Lead In 4th Weekend As It Swims Its Way Up The All Time Box Office Charts; M3GAN Provides Creepy Counterprogramming

Avatar: The Way of Water has had an incredible run from its December 16 release up through the early days of the new year. The remaining question is how it will play now that the holiday season has come to an end. The box office juggernaut has made a massive splash with $457 million domestically through Tuesday, and at $1.482 billion worldwide it is not only on the verge of topping Top Gun: Maverick ($1.489 billion) to become 2022’s highest grossing film but is also on its way into the top ten all time global box office list (10th place is currently occupied by Furious 7 with $1.515 billion). James Cameron’s sequel to what remains the highest grossing film of all time has already silenced any doubts that were in the air about the franchise’s relevance, and now we’ll see how far it can swim.

‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Nabs 4th Best 3rd Weekend Ever With $63.4 Million As Overall Box Office Rises In New Year’s Weekend

There’s no denying that 2022 was not a great year at the box office. The domestic cume for the entire year came to $7.37 billion, down considerably from 2019’s $11.36 billion, and by pre-pandemic standards it was the worst year since 1999. Yes, it was up 64% from 2021’s $4.48 billion cume, but 2021 was largely a dud year until the Memorial Day weekend “reopening.” Comparing just June through December, this year looks like less of an improvement with $4.67 billion for the final seven months compared to 2021’s $3.84 billion. Much of that improvement came from a strong summer, and the lead evaporates away if you compare September through December, with 2021’s cume coming to $2.435 billion, ahead of 2022’s $2.096 billion.

‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Crosses $1 Billion Worldwide In The Week And Is Headed Past $400 million Domestic Over New Year’s Weekend

As we head into the new year, Avatar: The Way of Water continues its dominance with no sign of slowing down yet. It crossed $1 billion worldwide this week, making it one of just six films ever to hit the ten digits in the first two weeks of its release, and at $1.03 billion it is already the year’s second highest grossing film and the third highest grossing of the 2020s. On the domestic front, the 12 day cume is $317 million, and though the extreme weather and low-grossing Christmas Eve holiday took a chunk out of the second weekend gross, the final numbers actually grew considerably from the estimates reported Sunday. It’s still too early to say whether the box office on The Way of Water will, like James Cameron’s last two films Avatar and Titanic, be another one for the record books, but the strong performance through the holidays so far indicates that we can’t yet rule it out.

‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Surges To $881 Million Worldwide Cume, Newcomers Open Soft As Storm Takes Toll on Christmas Weekend Box Office

This Christmas weekend box office looked a lot like last year’s, with a megablockbuster (Spider-Man: No Way Home then, Avatar: The Way of Water now), leading the way, a modest grossing toon in second place (Sing 2 then, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish now), and a slew of other contenders that largely failed to find an audience. The weekend was depressed by having the historically low-grossing Christmas Eve fall on Saturday rather than a weekday (last year the holiday weekend was likewise down as the 24th fell on Friday) and by Storm Elliott which has afflicted a large chunk of the country. The numbers could improve with the actuals, but for now the total box office for the weekend is estimated at just $82.8 million, which is down from last year’s $144 million. The weeks ahead still have strong potential, particularly for the season’s big ticket title Avatar 2, but there’s no denying that the overall slate is not connecting with audiences once again this season.

‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ To Rule As Newcomers ‘Puss in Boots: The Last Wish’, ‘Babylon’, & ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ Open In Time For Christmas Weekend

The holiday season is in full swing, with Christmas falling this Sunday and a few new releases in store for the busy end-of-the-year movie-going rush. This weekend will likely be a notch smaller than last year’s $144 million Christmas-weekend haul, and like last year the three-day numbers will be depressed by having the soft movie-going day of Christmas Eve fall over the weekend. Still, Avatar: The Way of Water should lead a relatively strong finish to the year (remember the overall box office was a brutally low $57.6 million just two weekends ago).

Avatar: The Way of Water’ Dives In With Below-Expectations $134 Million Debut

After a 13 year gap, Avatar: The Way of Water is finally here. James Cameron’s first of many planned sequels to Avatar, the world’s highest grossing film of all time (which itself topped Cameron’s own Titanic as the highest grossing film of all time), opened below expectations with $134 million. Yes, this is still a huge opening, but it is not the sort of start you would hope for on a film that, as Cameron claims, would “have to be the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history” to break even. With that said (and whether or not that statement regarding the film’s breakeven point is fully accurate), this is not a film to count out, and it could see strong numbers for the rest of the year and well into the new year. Either way, it’s great to have a heavy hitter back in theaters again, and Avatar: TWOW led an overall box office of $152 million, making this the second highest grossing weekend of the past five months.

‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ All Set For Massive Box Office Wave

There’s no doubt that Avatar: The Way of Water will be massive, the question is just how massive. After the pitifully low box office last weekend, where all films grossed just $37.6 million making it the second lowest grossing weekend of the year, the sequel to the world’s highest grossing film of all time comes out after a gap of 13 years. The box office still has many hurdles ahead, but at least for the rest of the year theaters should be packed with audiences eager to return to the world of Pandora.

‘Wakanda Forever’ Tops For 5th Time In Year’s 2nd Worst Weekend

As we await the opening of Avatar: The Way of Water, the weekend’s box office was once again terrible, just narrowly avoiding being the year’s worst. With nothing new opening wide, the overall gross from all films declined 33% from last weekend for a cume of $35.5 million, the second worst of the year after January 28-30’s $34.9 million cume. Studios are understandably wary of opening ahead of the sequel to the world’s highest grossing film of all time, but the box office is suffering as a result, with another weekend that would have been the worst in decades before the pandemic.

‘Wakanda Forever’ Likely To Top Fifth Weekend As Box Office Slows To A Crawl

Last weekend had a grim overall box office of $52.6 million, the sixth worst of the year. As nothing major opens this weekend, we’re in for what will likely be the second or third worst weekend of the year, with the overall cume possibly sinking below $40 million. It shouldn’t stoop as low as the $34.9 million grossing January 28-30 weekend, the worst of the year, but that’s about as positive of a spin that we can give on the dreary state of the box office as we await its revival with the opening of Avatar: The Way of Water next weekend.

‘Violent Night’s’ Solid $13 Million Start Can’t Top ‘Wakanda Forever’s’ $18 Million In Another Slow Weekend

We may be just two weekends away from the year’s biggest opening when the long-awaited Avatar sequel finally comes out, but until then we’re in for a slog. This was the year’s sixth-worst weekend with an overall box office of $52.9 million (a hair ahead of the $52.7 million post-Thanksgiving frame last year), and next weekend has the possibility of being the year’s worst. Yes, early December is typically rough (the post-Thanksgiving weekend in 2019 was the second worst of the year, and at $90.3 million was one of just four weekends that year to fall under $100 million), but barring 2020 and 2021, this is the worst post-Thanksgiving weekend since 1997, and it is unfortunate to see that the dearth of significant new releases is keeping the box office in a post-pandemic slump.

‘Wakanda Forever’ To Win 4th Weekend While ‘Violent Night’ Could Continue Solid Run Of Mid-Budget Genre Films

The post-Thanksgiving weekend box office is typically weak, primarily made up of declining holdovers from the holiday frame. This weekend is no exception, but the decline is from a much smaller base than usual, with the $93.8 million Thanksgiving three-day and $134 million five-day weekend numbers being even worse than last year’s and the worst in decades by pre-pandemic standards. The year looks to end on a relatively high note, with just two weeks left until Avatar: The Way of Water is unleashed, but until then it will be a quiet fortnight at the box office.

‘Wakanda Forever’ Dominates Again With Strong $64 Million Five-Day Gross In Otherwise Weak Thanksgiving Weekend, ‘Strange World’ Flops With $18.6 Million Five-Day Cume

Though the holiday season is often a box office bonanza, unfortunately the numbers over this long holiday weekend aren’t giving us much to be thankful for as the three-day cume for the entire box office came to just $92.9 million (down from last weekend’s $101 million) and the five-day cume came to $133 million. Of course we can’t expect pre-pandemic numbers (2019 had a $181 million three-day and $262 million five-day, and that was actually down from 2018), but these numbers are even worse than last year’s $96.3 million three-day and $142 million five-day back when many were still hesitant to return to the cinema. For some perspective, the last pre-pandemic Thanksgiving weekend to even fall under $100 million for the three-day was in 1994.

‘Strange World’ & Other Newcomers To Be No Match For ‘Wakanda Forever’ Over Busy But Soft Thanksgiving Weekend

Though Black Panther: Wakanda Forever looks to top the charts in its third weekend, possibly hitting $350 million by Sunday after passing $300 million on Tuesday, the four big Wednesday releases for the long Thanksgiving frame are all set to shake up what has been a mostly limp box office. Strange World from Disney, Devotion from Sony, The Fabelmans from Universal, and Bones and All from United Artists Releasing (the latter two expanding from just a handful of screens) make this one of the busiest weekends of the year in terms of new releases. We may not see impressive performances from any of these titles, but the slate should be enough to keep the overall box office above $100 million for the third weekend in a row, the first time this has happened since July (in fact, the past two weekends were the first time since July there were even two in a row). This will also be the first weekend in over a month with two titles above $10 million and could be the first weekend since July where two films gross over $20 million, and it could be the first time since August the entire top five is above $5 million. None of this is to say this will be a great or even good Thanksgiving weekend, but it’s an improvement over much of the fall.

‘Wakanda Forever’ Drops 63% for $67 Million Weekend 2, ‘The Menu’ Chomps On Solid $9 Million Opening

After Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s $181 million opening led to a $209 million total domestic box office last weekend (the fourth best overall weekend of the year and the fifth best since the start of the pandemic), the numbers fell back down to Earth this weekend. The total box office came to just $100 million (making this the first time since July that there were two nine-digit weekends in a row), with Wakanda Forever leading the way at $67.3 million, down 63% from last weekend. While this isn’t a bad number for Wakanda Forever, the hopes that the film would hold markedly better than recent MCU films were in vain. All in all, it looks to play closer to this year’s earlier franchise installments Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (67% second weekend drop and multiplier of 2.2) and Thor: Love and Thunder (68% second weekend drop and multiplier of 2.4) than to the first Black Panther (45% second weekend drop and multiplier of 3.5).

‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ To Rule In 2nd Weekend, Counterprogramming ‘The Menu’ & ‘She Said’ Expected To Open Soft

The overall box office last weekend was $209 million, with 87% of that coming from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s $181 million opening. This weekend will be dominated once again by the MCU film, which has a good shot of topping the charts until Avatar: The Way of Water opens on December 16. The main question is how well it will hold and how much it can prop up an otherwise weak box office, which saw no other film even make it to the double digits last weekend, an unfortunate stat that is likely to be repeated this weekend (in better times, the second weekend on the first Black Panther had three other films above $10 million). This weekend’s overall box office has a chance of staying above $100 million, but that would require a “better than the usual blockbuster” hold from Wakanda Forever. A 60% drop for the sequel would put it at $72.5 million this weekend, which is reasonable to expect, and in that scenario the rest of the box office would have a hard time lifting the overall numbers up into the nine digits, barring any surprises from the newcomers.

‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ Scores Year’s 2nd Best Opening With $180 Million

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has finally ended the box office blues. It will be a close call, but based on the estimates, the year’s biggest opener remains Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness with its $187 million start. Nonetheless, Wakanda Forever’s $180 million opening is a huge one, being the biggest ever for the month of November (beating the $158 million of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), the second biggest of the year, and the 13th biggest of all time (though it could go up or down a few slots once the actuals come out). It led an overall weekend box office of $208 million, which is the fourth biggest of the year and the biggest by a long shot of the past four months, with no other weekend since July 8-10 even going above $133 million.

‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ To Revive Flagging Box Office

The box office has been in a brutally slow period since summer ended, but at last there is a huge blockbuster to save the day, at least temporarily. The much awaited Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens this weekend, and it could see the year’s biggest opening (currently held by fellow MCU film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness with $187 million) and maybe even give this weekend the year’s biggest overall box office (currently held by July 8-10 when, not surprisingly, the last MCU film Thor: Love and Thunder opened to $144 million and led a $238 million cume from all films), though that’s a much loftier feat. The film’s predecessor Black Panther opened to $202 million in 2018, then the fifth biggest opening of all time and currently the eighth biggest, and there is the possibility that the sequel surpasses it. Don’t be disappointed if Wakanda Forever doesn’t beat any of the aforementioned stats, but wherever it ends up, we are sure to see explosive numbers this weekend.

‘Black Adam’ Tops In Third Weekend With $18.5 Million, ‘One Piece Film: Red’ Is Another Solid Anime Release With $9.5 Million Opening

This was another rough weekend at the box office with the combined gross of all films clocking in at $57.7 million, which is down 15% from last weekend and ranks as the year’s eighth lowest grossing. It isn’t all bad news, though. The weekend saw some great holds and a solid opening, and the post-summer box office slump will come to an end next weekend when Black Panther: Wakanda Forever delivers what may be the year’s biggest opening, leading what could potentially be the year’s highest grossing weekend.
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