Disney Celebrates Avatar 2's Box Office Performance (How Much Did It Make?)

By Klein Felt Posted:
Avatar 2 Disney

Disney is singing Avatar 2's praises after it made a boatload at the box office. 

James Cameron's Avatar follow-up, The Way of Water, took the world by storm when it hit theaters in December 2022. 

The movie was an instant success, becoming the third-highest-grossing movie of all time, and the biggest box office success since the COVID-19 pandemic shut theaters down in 2020. 

And Avatar 2 was no frugal venture for Disney, as the studio spent roughly $400 million on the sequel's production

Disney Celebrates Avatar 2's Success

Avatar Way of Water Na'vi tribes

During a recent Disney earnings call, the studios took time to spotlight the success of James Cameron's Avatar: The Way of Water

While speaking about some of the box office disappointment the studio giant has been seeing as of later, Disney CEO Bob Iger (via Aaron Couch on X) spotlighted Avatar 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 as bright spots. 

Iger remarked, "We are focused on improving the quality and performance of the films coming up" after some of Disney's recent films have fallen short financially:

"The performance of some of our recent films is definitely disappointing, and we don’t take that lightly. We are focused on improving the quality and performance of the films coming up.”

The Disney head executive continued, diving into The Way of Water's success pointing to the film's status as the "third-highest-grossing film of all time:"

"For example, 'Avatar: The Way of Water' - which is now the third-highest-grossing film of all time - is also on track to be the biggest ever electronic home video release for Disney domestically."

In the months since Avatar 2's release, much has been made about the movie's box office run. As Iger pointed out, it is now in the top three biggest films of all time, bringing in over $2.3 billion at the global box office. 

James Cameron's Pandoran epic also sits as the biggest film of all time in some territories, building up a streak of 26 straight days where the movie made more than $20 million internationally. 

The movie was so popular, it sat in the top spot at the domestic box office for a staggering seven weeks, finally getting knocked out in early February by the M. Night Shyamalan-directed Knock at the Cabin

And while the film was a mind-boggling investment for Disney (with some estimates putting the Avatar 2 bill at around $1 billion), the studio seems to have made a hefty profit from the movie as well. 

As reported by Deadline, The Way of Water is purportedly set to turn of profit of $531.7 million for the studio, not including ancillary revenue such as "Avatar’s presence at Disney theme parks, which the conglom also counts on its books."

Will the Avatar Momentum Continue?

Heading into Avatar 2 some wondered if James Cameron would be able to strike gold again. 

It has been more than a decade since the first Avatar movie, and there were some doubts about whether general audiences would show up in droves the way they did back in 2009. 

Well, they did, and Cameron yet again was laughing all the way to the bank

But now one has to wonder if the director will be able to carry this sort of financial success into Avatar 3

The upcoming threequel was recently pushed back from December 2024 to December 2025, as production on the Pandoran epic continues. 

Despite this delay though, it certainly feels like Cameron and Disney will be able to ride this wave (or create a wholly new one). 

Avatar 3 has been reported as having a budget somewhere around the $250 to $300 million mark (via Variety), so again, Disney needs this movie to succeed on a massive level for the studio to even see any sort of return. 

However, things feel as though they are going to be fine. A multi-billion dollar movie is a rarity, but Avatar 3 looks to be about sure a thing as one can get when dealing with these gargantuan types of box office returns. 

Some may doubt Avatar 3 hits these kinds of numbers, but if Hollywood has learned anything in the more than forty years Cameron has been making films, it is never smart to bet against Big Jim. 

Avatar: The Way of Water is available now on digital PVOD storefronts and on Disney+.

- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.