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“Avatar. “Water Road” earned $53 million in its opening day on Friday and is now projected to gross between $130 million and $150 million through the weekend, Deadline reports.

Why is it important? That’s slightly below expectations for the long-awaited sequel from director James Cameron, who previously suggested the film would need to make billions to break even.

Details: “Avatar. Water Road” opened in 4,202 theaters this weekend, including Thursday night previews.

  • In addition to its $53 million domestic total, the film earned $15.8 million in first-day sales in 15 different markets per deadline.
  • The opening night domestic gross is the sixth-highest domestic first-day gross of 2022, according to Variety.

Context: The original Avatar, released in 2009, earned $26.7 million on its opening night before earning $77 million in its opening weekend.

The big picture. All signs point to Waterway falling slightly short of estimates that said the film would earn between $150 million and $170 million in its opening weekend.

  • Several Marvel and Hollywood blockbusters earned more on their opening nights in 2022 than “Waterway,” including “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” ($90.7 million), “Black Panther. Wakanda Forever ($84.2 million) and The Batman ($56.6 million).
  • Last year, “Spider-Man. No Way Home earned $121.5 million on its December 2021 opening night, the second-highest-grossing opening day of all time. The film ended up earning $260.1 million from its entire opening weekend.

What we are watching. Cameron told GQ that the Avatar sequel was so expensive that the film would have to “be the third or fourth highest-grossing film of all time” to break even.

  • The fourth highest-grossing film in history, Star Wars: The Force Awakens The Force Awakens” is the film that has earned $2.1 billion at the box office, Axios’ Troy Smith reports.
  • Cameron said that the future of his franchise will depend on the performance of “The Way of Water”.

Yes, but. At least people are enjoying the movie. Road to Water currently holds a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 78% from critics and 94% from audiences.

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