New ‘Avatar’ Flick Tops $1 Billion In Just 14 Days – Faster Than Any Other Film This Year
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 06: (L-R) Joel David Moore, Brendan Cowell, Trinity Jo-Li Bliss, Bailey Bass, Jack Champion, Jamie Flatters, Stephen Lang, Kate Winslet, Sigourney Weaver, Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, James Cameron and Jon Landau at the world premiere of James Cameron's "Avatar: The Way of Water" at the Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on December 06, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney)
Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney

Audiences are quickly proving that they have been waiting for director James Cameron’s newest sequel, “Avatar: The Way of Water” — driving the franchise’s second installment to $1 billion at the global box office in just 14 days.

According to a report published Tuesday by the entertainment website Variety, Cameron’s lengthy epic managed the feat in less time than any other movie in 2022 — and was one of only three released this year to reach the milestone at all. The other two were also sequels — “Top Gun: Maverick,” which cleared the hurdle in about one month; and “Jurassic World Dominion,” which took a full four months.

Variety’s report also noted that “Spider Man: No Way Home” (2021) was the most recent movie to deliver a $1 billion box office take within two weeks — and only six movies have bested $1 billion within two weeks of their initial release date:

  • “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” (14 days)
  • “Jurassic World” (13 days)
  • “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (12 days)
  • “Spider Man: No Way Home” (12 days)
  • “Avengers: Infinity War” (11 days)
  • “Avengers: Endgame” (5 days)

But according to Cameron, bringing in $1 billion is quite literally only half the battle. He has told reporters that because of the film’s massive operating budget — and millions in additional promotional material — the movie would have to top $2 billion in order for him to break even on the project. However, despite Cameron’s assertion, Variety reports that “analysts believe the threshold to profitability is probably closer to $1.5 billion.”

In addition, Cameron has already sunk time and money into two more installments in the “Avatar” franchise — he reportedly already filmed the third movie, as well as parts of the fourth, in an effort to preserve continuity and avoid having his actors age out before the projects are finished.

The first “Avatar” film still holds the record as the highest grossing release in cinema history, shattering box office records with a haul of $2.97 billion in 2009.

Cameron made news earlier in the week when, during a press tour for the popular sequel, he revealed that he had cut at least ten minutes of gun play from the three hour epic over fears that he might “fetishize” firearms.

“I actually cut about 10 minutes of the movie targeting gunplay action. I wanted to get rid of some of the ugliness, to find a balance between light and dark. You have to have conflict, of course. Violence and action are the same thing, depending on how you look at it. This is the dilemma of every action filmmaker, and I’m known as an action filmmaker,” Cameron said, adding that he might do other films — such as “Terminator” and “True Lies” — differently in order to avoid making firearms appear glamorous.

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