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Thursday, May 23, 2024

At the Box Office, ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Is Getting Off to a Slow Start

Hollywood badly wanted “Avatar: The Way of Water,” the sequel to the highest-grossing picture in history, to come like a ticket-selling wave after three pandemic-battered years at the box office. According to surveys that gauge audience interest, “The Way of Water” may wind up grossing as much as $175 million in ticket sales over its opening weekend in the United States and Canada combined.

It just wasn’t meant to be.

According to Comscore, a company that analyses statistics on cinema ticket sales, the ultra-expensive event movie made over $134 million in its first three days of release in theatres throughout North America. The production and distribution of “The Way of Water,” which was helmed by James Cameron and included a return to the fantastical realm of Pandora, incurred an estimated cost of 600 million dollars for Disney. There are plans for a total of three further sequels.

However, there is still the possibility for “The Way of Water” to become a massive, blue juggernaut, possibly even surpassing the $2 billion in global sales that Cameron has publicly established as the benchmark for the film’s financial success, given the film’s extremely high production and marketing costs. Think about what went on in 2009 with the very first “Avatar” movie. It opened to a respectable $77 million and went on to generate $2.9 billion all over the globe.

According to Richard L. Gelfond, chief executive of IMAX Corporation, “It’s not the type of movie that you can judge by looking at how it fared on the first weekend.” “It all depends on how well it can hang on. I have a feeling that the legs are going to be rather robust.”

There is going to be very little competition until the end of January, which is one of the reasons why IMAX is going to continue showing “The Way of Water” until the month is up. It is common for studios to release a large number of spectacles around this time of year because to the fact that the holidays provide a large number of people with more time on their hands. However, the release dates of many event movies have been moved back to 2023 as a result of production delays caused by the epidemic.

Through New Year’s Day, AMC Entertainment, the largest multiplex theatre operator in the world, will have more than one hundred thousand showtimes and ten million seats available for “The Way of Water” in the United States alone.

According to Disney, “The Way of Water” opened in theatres over the weekend in almost every foreign region, where it brought in an additional $300.5 million for a solid worldwide opening total of $434.5 million. After “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” it had the year’s second-highest opening weekend gross worldwide.

Despite limits on theatre capacity in certain major cities caused by coronavirus outbreaks, “The Way of Water” grossed $57.1 million in ticket sales in China, making it the leading overseas market for the film. Also in China, IMAX had its highest opening weekend marketing share to date, accounting for 27% of the country’s total box office revenue but accounting for just 1% of the country’s total screens.

In North America, an outlandishly high proportion of ticket sales for “The Way of Water” came from IMAX theatres and other premium-format sites, including those with 3-D presentation. Additionally, additional premium-format venues included those with laser projection. According to Disney, these theatres were responsible for 62 percent of the film’s overall revenue in the domestic market. Box office experts theorised that some individuals would not have been able to get tickets to such screenings due to the usual occurrence of sellouts and hence opted to wait.

The ecological allegory “The Way of Water,” which is a hybrid of live-action footage and specialised animation, has a marathon run time of three hours and 12 minutes, which may have been too much of a commitment for some people on the weekend before Christmas. The film is a hybrid of live-action footage and specialised animation. However, the majority of box office experts do not believe that “The Way of Water’s” running time will be an issue for the film in the long term. One reason for this is because the film has received mostly excellent reviews. Exit surveys conducted by CinemaScore awarded the movie an A rating from attendees’ perspectives.

The first instalment of “Avatar” lasted for a total of two hours and 42 minutes. According to Comscore, “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” which had a run duration of three hours and 29 minutes, now holds the record for the longest length of time for a film that had no intermission and was released in wide distribution.

Jonathan James
Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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