The Way Of Water’ To Cross $400M US At New Year’s Weekend Box Office – Deadline

SATURDAY AM: Refresh for more analysis and charts Avatar: The Way of Water is looking fantastic in its third weekend after Friday beat its own evening estimates with $24.4M, +27% from a week ago. That puts the James Cameron movie on a run for a $67.8M 3-day weekend, +7% from last weekend’s Christmas period, and a potential 4-day between $87M-$92M per industry estimates. On the high end of that range, Avatar 2 could see a -4% dip from its Dec. 23-26 take of $95.6M. In that range, by Monday, Avatar 2 will outstrip the 18-day running total of its comp, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which had $440.9M by that point in time with a total in between $450M-$446M. At that level, Avatar 2 will also easily beat the running total of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever which looks to stand at around $440M by Monday. One conservative estimate has Avatar 2‘s third sesh at $77M over 4 days, which would get it to $435.1Mand see it 1% behind Rogue One by EOD Monday.

The film is ringing in a healthy New Year for exhibition leading a total domestic marketplace of $104.2M over Friday-Sunday, which is 5% higher than New Year’s Weekend 2022 when Spider-Man: No Way Home led all titles to $98.9M.

Together with a Black Panther: Wakanda Forever‘s eighth Friday of $1.8M, Disney, along with all the money from its Searchlight and 20th Century Studios titles, rises to $1.96 billion at the 2022 domestic box office. You can read more about our look back at the box office year here.

AMC Burbank 16, courtesy AP

Even though we could see a 2023 box office year of $9 billion, +22%, and despite the success of Avatar 2 here, Wall Street has been hard on the No. 1 movie chain AMC, with the chain ending in 2022 with a share price of $4.07, down from its $34.30 annual high. That comes in the wake of AMC planning a reverse stock split, $110M sale of its premium APE equity. It’s clear the street is assessing the exhibitor from its debt and profit standpoints, and not the future rebound of the industry. They should know that AMC ruled the 2022 domestic market as the No. 1 circuit with more than $1.7 billion (23% market share) per industry calculations, ahead of No. 2 Regal which made $1.2 billion (16.4% market share). The AMC Burbank will be the highest grossing theater with around $18M in box office for the year, followed by AMC Empire as the No. 2 theaters in the US with $14.5M.

Los Angeles was the top market for moviegoing in 2022 grossing $571M+ (8% total market share) with New York coming in at No. 2 with $446M+ in ticket sales (6.3% total market share). Dallas was a standout market for the year (and during the entire pandemic) ranking 3rd for the year with $226M in box office (3.2% total market share).

Universal/Dreamworks Animation’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish remains the runner-up champion at the holiday box office with a $6.46M Friday, +70% from a week ago, $15.95M 3-day, +28%, a 4-day $21.1M and a running total of $65.5M.


FRIDAY PM UPDATE: Avatar The Way of Water‘s 3rd Friday is on its way to $22M+which is up 15% from its second Friday of $19.2M a week ago and will put the sequel’s 15-day total at around $380M. Today’s gross is also bigger than Rogue One‘s third Friday of $18.2M. This looks to be shaping up for a third 3-day weekend of $57M-10%, and 4-day of $75M, maybe even a bit more at 4,202 theaters. By EOD Monday, Jan. 2, the 20th Century Studios/Disney/Lightstorm movie hopes to stand at $433.1M stateside.

PUSS IN BOOTS: THE LAST WISH, (Universal Pictures)

Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is eyeing a second Friday of $5.3M, +39% from a week ago, for a 3-day of $13.3M (+7%), 4-day of $17.7M at 4,121 theaters, and a running total through 13 days of $62.1M-33% behind Sing 2 versus the same point in time.

Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in its 8th Friday is seeing around $1.6Ma 3-day of $4.7M (+33%), 4-day of $6.4M and running total in its 8th weekend of $439.3M. The sequel is playing at 2,310 theaters.

Sony/Compelling Pictures/Black Label Media’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody is seeing a second Friday of $1.3M, -35%, and a second weekend of $3.7M-22% and 4-day of $4.9M for an 11-day total of $15.4M. The Whitney Houston biopic is booked at 3,625 theaters.

BABYLON: Li Jun Li (center), Jovan Adepo (right) (Paramount)

Paramount/C2’s Babylon at 3,351 theaters is seeing $850K today, $2.9M for its second weekend, -19%, and a 4-day of $3.3M raising its 11-day total $10.7M. The movie will soon surpass Guillermo del Toro’s lifetime domestic total Nightmare Alley, a dark, R-rated high brow adult title from last Christmas which finished at $11.3M. Nightmare Alley was nominated for four Oscars including Best Picture.

PREVIOUS FRIDAY AM: It was another $20M day for James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water, so big that it was the biggest regular box office Thursday of the year after the sequel’s Dec. 22 takes of $14.6M and Top Gun: Maverick‘s June 2 gross. The movie’s running total is $358M stateside with a 3-day expected to be around $50M and will cross the $400M threshold on New Year’s Day per box office sources. New Year’s Eve Saturday isn’t expected to be as depressed as Christmas Eve was a week ago.

To date, the Disney/20th Century Studios/Lightstorm movie has the following daily 2022 records: top and second grossing Thursday, the 2nd and 3rd highest Mondays of the year, the 1st and 2nd highest Tuesdays, and 1st and 3rd highest Wednesday.

Total Thursday global was $67.9M. Overseas BO total cume is $810.6M -surpassing Top Gun: Maverick‘s $770M to become the No. 1 international release of 2022 and No. 2 MPA title abroad in the pandemic era. Ongoing worldwide total for Avatar 2 is $1.168 billion.

We hear Comscore is down this AM, preventing others from reporting numbers. Disney didn’t have any problems, clearly.

We’ll have more updates for you as they come.

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