A full breakdown of James Cameron's box office stats (and how it applies to Avatar 2)
James Cameron's films have unrivaled box office records. What that means for Avatar: Way of Water's box office potential.
James Cameron has one of the best box office records, but can "Avatar: Way of Water" be as successful as "Titanic" and the first "Avatar"? Avatar: The Way of Water has grossed over $1 billion worldwide, but what does it take to make it one of the highest-grossing films of all time?
The box office potential of blockbusters is not always easy to predict. Some movies follow box office patterns similar enough that their performance can be predicted after their opening weekend, but that's not the case with James Cameron. Not only has Cameron's movie grossed more than the others, but it's followed an entirely different box office behavior. So, how do James Cameron's films generally perform, and what does that tell us about Avatar: Way of Water's box office potential?
James Cameron Movies Have Low Opening Weekend Box Office And Really Strong Legs
James Cameron's film career has had unrivaled box office success, and while the box office performance of Cameron's films cannot be compared for various reasons such as budget differences or release eras, there are several common factors to his box office success . titanic and avatar The reason it gets the most attention is because they both became the highest-grossing films of all time upon release, but even his lower-grossing films had similar box-office behavior, just to a lesser degree.
Cameron's films typically sell well on their opening weekends, but traditionally word of mouth works well, with most box office receipts coming within a few weeks of release. Cameron's average box office "multiplier" (which is used to calculate the change between a film's opening weekend gross and the domestic gross), averages 5.65 for the 10 highest-grossing films of all time, but if you exclude Avatar (10.19 ) and Titanic (23.02), the average is only 2.91. The average multiplier for the top 10 films in 2022 is 2.92. Cameron, meanwhile, has an average multiplier of 9.89.
Apart from Avatar and Titanic, the largest multiplier in the top 10 all-time is Star Wars: The Force Awakens at 3.78 ($936.7 million domestic total), and the highest multiplier in the top 10 in 2022 The good one was Top Gun: Maverick's 5.67 (and a $718,732,821 domestic total). By comparison, Cameron's lowest multiplier was True Lies' 5.65. Even excluding "Avatar" and "Titanic", Cameron's average score is still as high as 7.2. if avatar had a 7.2 multiplier (instead of 10.19), it would make $554.5 million domestically -- good enough for 13th all-time. So while the massive box office multipliers for Avatar and Titanic are huge outliers, even for Cameron, his other movies have still done well.
James Cameron's Movies Make a Lot of Box Office Money Internationally (Especially in China)
Cameron's multiplier proves that his films have strong domestic box office performances, but the real secret to Cameron's box office performance lies in the international box office. Since he's been directing films since the 1980s, more so his most recent films before the international box office developed to the impact it has today, but back in the 1990s, Cameron's international appeal was already evident.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) took 59% of the international box office, True Lies (1994) took 61%, but Titanic (1997) took 70%. International Office, Avatar "(2009) accounted for 73%. By comparison, the top 10 movies of all time average 64%, and the top 10 movies in 2022 average 57%. Cameron has had some big hits in China too, with "Avatar" opening to $202.6 $57.7 million in China and a 2021 re-release of Avatar. A 3D re-release of "Titanic" in China in 2012 (15 years after the original) also grossed a whopping $145 million.
How Avatar: The Way of Water Compares to James Cameron's Other Movies
Avatar: Way of Water had the highest opening weekend of any James Cameron film, although in line with his other films, the opening weekend was not Especially impressive. With $134.1 million, "Avatar: Way of Water" would be the fifth-biggest opening weekend in 2022, but if the film breaks into the top 10 of all time, $134.1 would be the third-lowest on the list Its opening weekend box office is ahead of only "Avatar" and "Titanic."
"Avatar: Way of Water" has been flat so far at the box office, but its second weekend was down 52.8%, the biggest drop for Cameron. Before Avatar 2, Cameron's biggest drop was 34.7 percent in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, compared to his average drop of 9.2 percent. By comparison, the box office of the first "Avatar" fell just 1.8 percent in its second weekend, while "Titanic" actually rose more than 23 percent. Compared to the 10 highest-grossing movies of 2022, Avatar: Way of Water had the third-best second-weekend drop behind Top Gun: Maverick's 28.9 percent and The Batman's 50.4 percent.
When it comes to Avatar: Way of Water's international box office, it is only slightly below Cameron's average, having accounted for 69.3% of its total so far thanks to its Chinese release, and the top 10 in 2022 Many of the big-name movies didn't get it. The film is out in less than two weeks, so those percentages could change significantly, but right now it's on par with Cameron's typical box office performance.
Predicting Avatar: The Way of Water's Box Office Potential
Many factors make Avatar: Way of Water's box office unpredictable. It's unclear whether it will play out more like a typical blockbuster or like Cameron's other films. Additionally, a major winter storm impacted its second-weekend earnings, and this year Christmas falls on a Sunday instead of the first Avatar's Friday (or Titanic's Thursday), meaning the second weekend's 52.8 The % drop may not be fair in comparison, especially since "Avatar: Way of Water" was up 10.6% on its second Monday (Sunday the 25th, Christmas), while "Titanic" and "Avatar" Both fell on the second Monday.
Despite the lack of like-for-like comparisons, we can still make rough predictions for Avatar: Way of Water based on various scenarios. First, if we assume that Avatar: Way of Water performs in line with Cameron's average, implying a domestic revenue multiplier of 9.89, and that its international box office receipts will be 70%, then Avatar: Way of Water will Dow will make $1.3 billion domestically, $3.2 billion for a total of $4.5 billion. Those record-breaking numbers are undoubtedly a pipe dream, but they're just a product of Avatar: Way of Water reaching Cameron's average, below both Avatar and Titanic.
For Cameron's average multiplier, a more modest calculation removes Avatar, Titanic, and Terminator from the high/low outliers, resulting in an average multiplier of 6.61 number. Assuming just under 65% of revenues come from international markets, these conditions would result in Avatar: Way of Water earning $886.8 million domestically (the second-best in domestic history), $1.7 billion international, and $2.6 billion worldwide , which would surpass Titanic as the third-highest-grossing film of all time, behind Avengers: Endgame and the original Avatar. Of course it is possible It doesn't perform at all like Cameron's previous films, and the multiplier will be more in line with other blockbusters, meaning a much lower box office take.
If Avatar: Way of Water performed like the average of the 10 highest-grossing films of all time, it would have a multiplier of 5.65, 65% of its revenue from international markets, and its domestic gross of $758.2 million Around (fifth - highest ever), its 65% international haul would reach $1.4 billion for a global take of $2.1 billion, making it the fourth-highest-grossing film of all time. If it performed like the top 10 films of 2022 (which are already on the list), it would have a multiplier of 2.92, with international receipts accounting for 57% of its box office, implying $391.6 million domestic and 5.22 international $913.7 million worldwide, the fifth highest-grossing film of 2022, but not even in the top 10 of all time.
Since Cameron's other films, especially Avatar and Titanic, performed so differently from other blockbusters, it is difficult to predict the box office potential of Avatar: Way of Water. On the one hand, it's unfair to assume it's going to act like a typical non-Cameron blockbuster, but it seems ambitious Assuming it will perform like the average James Cameron movie, especially when it hits the Cameron average, it will gross a hyperbolic $4.5 billion. Avatar: Way of Water has crossed $1 billion at the box office and has multiple paths to crack the top five all-time box office grossers, but only time will reveal its true box office potential.