James Cameron‘s well-liked follow-up Avatar: The Way of Water soared through $1.7 billion in global revenues and surpassed $516 million domestically on its fourth week of release, with little to no sign of slowing down.
Despite initial skepticism that it would possess the momentum to propel it to such a staggering level, Avatar 2 has declined by just 33% this weekend and now appears increasingly likely to cross the $2 billion mark. But here we are again, dishing out crow to skeptics who maintained that now would be the time when questioning Cameron would pay dividends.
Avatar: The Way of Water experienced back-to-back major holidays for Christmas and the New Year, maximizing the benefits of children being out of school and parents and other adults being on vacation, earning an audience grade of “A” from Cinemascore and a 77% rating from reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes. I considered Avatar: The Way of Water to be one of the best movies of 2022.
As a result, the movie was able to overcome several obstacles, including a weaker-than-anticipated opening, China’s box office being suppressed by the out-of-control Covid spread, Russia’s refusal to release the movie due to that nation’s ongoing aggression war against Ukraine, and a domestic sharp rise of Covid-flu-RSV and rising prices that decreased theatre attendance.
Avatar: The Way of Water at a High Surge
For the foreseeable future, Avatar: The Way of Water appears unstoppable and faces little competition. The movie should continue to draw large crowds and maintain its box office supremacy until the release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania on February 17th, even though school has started back up and things are starting to seem somewhat regular again after the holidays.
Unless James Cameron releases Titanic in restored 4K HDR and 3D on February 10th, when it will occupy several of the high-end movie formats, including IMAX and Dolby Cinema, which are already yielding excellent returns for Avatar: The Way of Water.
This weekend’s other big box office winner was Gerard Johnstone’s sci-fi horror comedy M3GAN, which brought in $45 million worldwide for Universal. M3GAN is drawing crowds and garnering plenty of love for its playful marketing strategy, earning a high-for-horror audience grade of B from Cinemascore and a 94% Rotten Tomatoes rating. To everyone’s relief, M3GAN was able to rise to the occasion and demonstrate that something truly exceptional was required to draw attention away from Avatar: The Way of Water.
M3GAN, a $12 million co-production between Blumhouse and James Wan’s Atomic Monster, is already a huge success to guarantee a sequel, which distributor Universal has already announced.
Avatar: The Way of Water Review
James Cameron’s careless new digital movie has crashed to the shore like a gigantic, useless whale, bathing us in a disappointment that we can barely express aloud. The tale, which could have been a 30-minute cartoon, is stretched into a three-hour epic tweeness movie as if by an AI program.
In 2009, Cameron released the groundbreaking 3D sci-fi extravaganza known as the original Avatar. After 13 years of expensive animations, the sequel has finally been released, and there are plans for third and fourth editions. This one supports that three-dimensional vision that Cameron nearly single-handedly revitalized but that the rest of the industry has quietly abandoned by being offered in both 3D and 2D.
The artificially generated body that can be remotely piloted into an uncharted universe and which significantly played a dramatic role in the audience’s 3D experience, known as the “avatar” from the first film, has been completely abandoned.
Even while the effects are technically stunning, they amount to lifeless, motionless high frame-rate motion smoothness, not an uncanny valley, but rather a Mariana Trench in the depths. A trillion-dollar screensaver would be comparable to Cameron’s underwater world.
The situation is that former human Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is devoted to the Navi body he assumed when blending in with the blue-eyed, pointy-bodied tribe as part of the “avatar” strategy in the first movie before falling in love with the fierce warrior Neytiri and standing with her people against by the humans who would exploit the Na’vi’s mineral resources.
Years later, Sully and Neytiri are still happily married and sharing their home with their kids, stepdaughter Kiri, who quickly makes the connection to the first movie, and a semi-feral human child named Spider.
However, just as they begin to feel content, the sky people of planet Earth resurface, and a clever twist involving the gung-ho marine colonel Miles Quaritch, famously portrayed by Stephen Lang, occurs. To hide among the distant Metkayina, an amphibious reef tribe led by Ronal and Tonowari, Sully’s family must abandon their jungle habitat.
They must acquire the mysterious Metkayina art of subsisting underwater for extended periods of time there. After a period of conflict and rivalry, the children of Tonowari and Sully get along like cousins. However, this new Eden also cannot last indefinitely.