Avatar: The Way Of Water Looks To Make $175 Million Opening Weekend

The sequel from James Cameron has already sold $38 million in advance ticket sales.

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Early tracking estimates for Avatar: The Way of Water show the sequel starting off with a bang. Current projections point to director James Cameron's latest flick to open with between $150 million to $175 million--a notable difference domestically against the original that made $77 million initially.

Variety, the site behind these numbers, added that Avatar: The Way of Water has already sold $38 million in advance ticket sales. That puts the sequel in front of Top Gun: Maverick and Jurassic World: Dominion but trailing Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness as well as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Those Marvel Cinematic Universe movies saw $181 million and $180 million, respectively, in their opening weekends.

Looking past this weekend, Avatar: The Way of Water won't have much competition in the blockbuster space in the coming months. Babylon, starring Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, and the horror film M3GAN appear to be the strongest challengers for the next month. What might hurt the Avatar sequel, though, is a running time of three hours and 12 minutes.

Avatar: The Way of Water may rake in $250 million to $350 million internationally this weekend, according to Variety. That means the followup film could see a worldwide haul of over $500 million come Monday. Which is an important number for Cameron and his sequels, since he previously stated Avatar 2 is "the worst business case in movie history." Market reception must be strong to justify further films in the franchise, like Avatar 5 going to Earth.

Now critical reception has been generally positive so far in the review roundup for Avatar: The Way of Water. GameSpot sister site Metacritic has the film with a 71 score (based on 45 critic reviews), while Rotten Tomatoes shows an 84% rating (based on 122 reviews). Though, that said, GameSpot's Avatar: The Way of Water review marks the movie as mediocre, noting, "The problem is that Jake Sully is about as engaging and likable as a piece of driftwood."

Avatar: The Way of Water premieres this Friday, December 16. While waiting until then, read up on Kate Winslet holding her breath for seven minutes while shooting the sequel.

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