‘Avatar: The Way Of Water’ Ringing In Healthy New Year With Potential $87M 4-Day – Saturday AM Update

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SATURDAY AM: Avatar: The Way of Water is looking fantastic in its third weekend after Friday beat its own evening estimates with $24.4M, +27% from a week ago. That puts the James Cameron movie on a run for a $67.8M 3-day weekend, +7% from last weekend’s Christmas period, and a potential 4-day between $87M-$92M per industry estimates.

On the high end of that range, Avatar 2 could see a 4% dip from its Dec. 23-26 take of $95.6M. In that range, Avatar 2 by Monday would outstrip the 18-day running total of its comp, 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which had $440.9M by that point in time with a total between $450M-$446M. By Monday, Avatar 2 also could best the running total of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, that pic rising its total to $440M. One conservative estimate has Avatar 2‘s third sesh at $77M over 4 days, which would get it to $435.1M, and see it 1% behind Rogue One by EOD Monday.

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Avatar 2 is ringing in a healthy New Year for exhibition with a total overall domestic weekend marketplace of $104.2M, which is 5% higher than New Year’s Weekend 2022 when Spider-Man: No Way Home led all titles to $98.9M.

RELATED: ‘Avatar: The Way Of Water’ Tops $810M Overseas On Way To $1.3B+ Global Through Sunday 

Together with a Black Panther: Wakanda Forever‘s eighth Friday of $1.8M, Disney, along with all the money from its Searchlight and 20th Century Studios titles, rises to $1.96 billion at the 2022 domestic box office. You can read more about our look back at the box office year here.

AMC Burbank 16 (AP)AMC Burbank 16 (AP)

AMC Burbank 16 (AP)

Even though we could see a 2023 box office year of $9 billion, +22%, and despite the success of Avatar 2 here, Wall Street has been hard on the No. 1 movie circuit AMC, with the exhibitor ending 2022 with a share price of $4.07, down from its $34.30 annual high. That comes in the wake of AMC planning a reverse stock split and $110M sale of its premium APE equity. It’s clear the street is assessing the exhibitor from its debt and profit standpoints, and not the future rebound of the industry. They should know that AMC ruled the 2022 domestic marketplace as the No. 1 theater chain with more than $1.7 billion (23% marketshare) per industry calculations, ahead of No. 2 Regal which did $1.2 billion (16.4% marketshare). The AMC Burbank will be the highest grossing theatre with around $18M in box office for the year, followed by AMC Empire as the No. 2 theater in the US with $14.5M.

RELATED: 2023 Domestic Box Office To Hit $9 Billion Fueled By 33 Tentpoles, But How Does Hollywood Prevent Original Adult Pics From Falling Into Further Jeopardy?

Los Angeles was the top market for moviegoing in 2022 grossing $571M+ (8% total market share) with New York coming in at No. 2 with $446M+ in ticket sales (6.3% total market share).  Dallas was a standout market for the year (and during the entire pandemic) ranking 3rd for the year with $226M in box office (3.2% total market share).

Universal/Dreamworks Animation’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish remains the runner-up champ at the holiday box office with a $6.46M Friday, +70% from a week ago, $15.95M 3-day, +28%, a 4-day $21.1M and a running total of $65.5M.

'A Man Called Otto' review Tom Hanks'A Man Called Otto' review Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks tries to ignore his new neighbor Mariana Treviño in ‘A Man Called Otto’

Sony’s limited release of the Tom Hanks drama, A Man Called Otto, played four exclusive runs including AMC Century City and The Grove in LA and AMC Lincoln Square and Regal Union Square in NYC for a $23K Friday, and what looks to be a 3-day of $61K and 4-day of $79K. The 3-day theater average looks to be $15,2K.

The rest of the box office is as follows for Dec. 30, 2022-Jan. 2, 2023:

1) Avatar: The Way of Water (Dis/20th) 4,202 theaters, Fri $24.4M (+27%), 3-day $67.8M (+7%)/4-day $87M-$92M/Total: $450M-$446M/ Wk 3

2) Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (Uni) 4,121 (+22) theaters, Fri $6.46M (+70%)  3-day $15.95M (+28%), 4-day $21.1M/Total $65.5M/Wk 2

3) Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Dis) 2,310 (+60) theaters, Fri $1.82M (+82%) 3 day $5M (+43%)/4-day $6.7M/Total $439.8M/Wk 8

4) I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Sony) 3,625 theaters, Fri $1.46M (-27%) 3-day $4.1M (-13%) 4-day $5.2M/Total $15.8MWk 2

5) Babylon (Par) 3,351 (+8) theaters Fri $935K (-36%) 3-day $3M (-17%) 4-day $4M/Total  $11.4M/Wk 2

6) Violent Night (Uni) 2,563 (+1) Fri $810K (-15%)  3-day $2.1M (-39%) 4-day $2.67M Total $48M/Wk 5

7) The Whale (A24) 623 (+20) theaters, Fri $491,5K (+64%), 3-day $1.5M (+597%) 4-day $2M Total $6.4M/Wk 4

8)The Menu (Sea) 860 (+20) theaters, Fri $386K (+121%) 3-day $1.03M (+47%) 4-Day $1.3M Total $36.3M/Wk 7

9) Fabelmans (Uni/Amb) 1,149 (+27) theaters, Fri $320K (+157%) 3 day $980K (+31%), 4-day $1.27M Total $12.3M/Wk 8

10.) Strange World (Dis) 1,240 (-150) theaters, Fri $201K (+39%) 3-day $504K (+17%), 4-day $700K, Total $37.2M/Wk 6

FRIDAY PM UPDATE: Avatar The Way of Water‘s 3rd Friday is on its way to $22M+, which is up 15% from its second Friday of $19.2M a week ago and will put the sequel’s 15-day total at around $380M. Today’s gross is also bigger than Rogue One‘s third Friday of $18.2M. This looks to be shaping up for a third 3-day weekend of $57M, -10%, and 4-day of $75M, maybe even a bit more at 4,202 theaters. By EOD Monday, Jan. 2, the 20th Century Studios/Disney/Lightstorm movie hopes to stand at $433.1M stateside.

PUSS IN BOOTS: THE LAST WISH, (Universal Pictures)PUSS IN BOOTS: THE LAST WISH, (Universal Pictures)

PUSS IN BOOTS: THE LAST WISH, (Universal Pictures)

Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is eyeing a second Friday of $5.3M, +39% from a week ago, for a 3-day of $13.3M (+7%), 4-day of $17.7M at 4,121 theaters, and a running total through 13 days of $62.1M, -33% behind Sing 2 versus the same point in time.

Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in its 8th Friday is seeing around $1.6M, a 3-day of $4.7M (+33%), 4-day of $6.4M and running total in its 8th weekend of $439.3M. The sequel is in play at 2,310 theaters.

Sony/Compelling Pictures/Black Label Media’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody is seeing a second Friday of $1.3M, -35%, and a second weekend of $3.7M, -22% and 4-day of $4.9M for an 11-day total of $15.4M. The Whitney Houston biopic is booked at 3,625 theaters.

BABYLON: Li Jun Li (center), Jovan Adepo (right) (Paramount)BABYLON: Li Jun Li (center), Jovan Adepo (right) (Paramount)

BABYLON: Li Jun Li (center), Jovan Adepo (right) (Paramount)

Paramount/C2’s Babylon at 3,351 theaters is seeing $850K today, $2.9M for its second weekend, -19%, and a 4-day of $3.3M raising its 11-day total $10.7M. The movie will soon surpass the lifetime domestic total of Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley, a dark, R-rated high brow adult title from last Christmas which finaled at $11.3M. Nightmare Alley was nominated for four Oscars including Best Picture.

PREVIOUS FRIDAY AM: It was another $20M day for James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water, so big that it was the biggest regular box office Thursday of the year after the sequel’s Dec. 22 take of $14.6M and Top Gun: Maverick‘s June 2 gross. The movie’s running total is $358M stateside with a 3-day expected to be around $50M and will cross the $400M threshold on New Year’s Day per box office sources. New Year’s Eve Saturday isn’t expected to be as depressed as Christmas Eve was a week ago.

To date, the Disney/20th Century Studios/Lightstorm movie has the following daily 2022 records: top and second grossing Thursday, the 2nd and 3rd highest Mondays of the year, the 1st and 2nd highest Tuesdays, and 1st and 3rd highest Wednesday.

Total Thursday global was $67.9M. Overseas B.O. total cume is $810.6M –surpassing Top Gun: Maverick‘s $770M to become the No. 1 international release of 2022 and No. 2 MPA title abroad in the pandemic era. Ongoing worldwide total for Avatar 2 is $1.168 billion.

We hear Comscore is down this AM, preventing others from reporting numbers. Disney didn’t have any problems, clearly.

We’ll have more updates for you as they come.

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