Avatar: The Way of Water Becomes Profitable as It Passes the $1.5 Billion Mark Globally

Image: 20th Century Studios

It has been said that Avatar: The Way of Water becomes profitable by the end of yesterday’s global box office tally as it surpasses $1.5 billion. Final numbers for January 4 have not yet been reported but at last count, James Cameron’s epic sequel had hit $1.482 billion globally and was expected to pass $1.5 billion by the end of the day, at which point it reportedly will become profitable and also dethrone Top Gun: Maverick as the highest grossing movie of 2022.

This news no doubt provides a sigh of relief for Disney/20th Century Studios, and theater owners alike, amid plummeting ticket sales and other box office bombs. Science fiction epics are always a gamble and often incur incredulous budgets to produce leaving studios wondering if a project will attract enough moviegoers to make it a profitable venture. It is said that the Avatar sequel cost Disney $350 million to make and around $100 million in marketing while analysts project $1.5 billion as the profitability threshold.

$2 Billion and Beyond

As Avatar: The Way of Water becomes profitable its next goal comes via James Cameron who stated it needs to be the 3rd or 4th highest-grossing movie of all time and would like to see it surpass $2 billion. Depending on how long, and how many times, it is in theaters this could be an attainable goal. By comparison, the first film hit $2.9 billion after its initial theatrical run followed by multiple re-releases.

Disney, while not always having every project perform with such stellar numbers, is still on track for the number one top-earner studio in 2022 with over $4.9 billion in global ticket sales. This marks the seventh year in a row that Disney has ranked number one as the top earner but in recent years past, and including 2022, owes a significant percentage of those sales to its Marvel, and sometimes Star Wars, movies. If Avatar: The Way of Water should pass the $2 billion mark it will mean that three of the six movies to have ever done so will have all been made by James Cameron.

  • Avatar – $2.9 billion
  • Avengers: Endgame – $2.7 billion
  • Titanic – $2.2 billion
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens – $2.06 billion
  • Avengers: Infinity War – $2.04 billion

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Peter Brosdahl
As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my dad, a used Atari 400, around 1982. Eventually it would end up being a lifelong passion of upgrading and modifying equipment that, of course, led into a career in IT support.

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