Avatar 2: Every Box Office Record Broken So Far

By Sam Hargrave Posted:
Jake Sully, Ronal, Avatar: The Way of Water

Avatar: The Way of Water has already broken multiple box office records in its first two weeks spent in theaters.

Avatar currently stands as the highest-grossing movie of all time. So, it will come as no surprise that James Cameron's pioneering flick broke dozens of box office records, with many of them still being held even 13 years later.

Naturally, this has left expectations high as Cameron returns to finally deliver Avatar: The Way of Water as theaters continue their post-pandemic recovery. 

Things certainly got off to a strong start after the Friday opening broke one major record that was held by Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Avatar 2 has only continued making history ever since.

Avatar 2 Breaks Six Box Office Records

Avatar 2, The Way of Water
20th Century Studios

Here are the six box office records that Avatar: The Way of Water has broken in the first two weeks of what is expected to be an extensive theatrical run.

Best Tuesday Of 2022 (Domestic)

Deadline reported that Avatar 2 achieved the best Tuesday at the domestic box office in 2022 on December 20. The sequel grossed $18.3M to top Minion: The Rise of Gru's previous record holder of $17.5M. The worldwide total on the day of the record was $58.5M.

Best Wednesday Of 2022 (Domestic)

Exhibitor Relations Co. noted that The Way Of Water's $20M domestic gross on December 21 represents the highest Wednesday box office in 2022.

Biggest-Ever 3rd Weekend for Hollywood Movie In China

The Way of Water grossed $36.5 million on its third 3-day weekend (December 30 - January 1), which is, according to Box office insider Luiz Fernando, a 38.3% increase from its 2nd weekend and the highest-ever 3rd weekend in China for an American movie, beating Aquaman's 23.4 million 3rd weekend earnings.

First-Ever Part Two Movie To Cross $1B Worldwide In Under Two Weeks

On December 29, Avatar 2 crossed the $1B mark, becoming only the sixth film to achieve the milestone gross in under two weeks. As pointed out by Erik Davis, the follow-up marked the first ever Part Two movie of a franchise to join the list.

Fastest 2022 Movie To Reach $1 Billion

The LA Times reported that Avatar: The Way of Water had become the fastest movie of 2022 to cross $1B, just 12 days after the official opening. Only two other movies have managed to gross the impressive milestone this year in any timeframe, those being Top Gun: Maverick and Jurassic World: Dominion.

Biggest Box Office Opening For A James Cameron Film

ScreenRant shared that Avatar 2 achieved the highest domestic box office opening ever for director James Cameron with $134M, toppling the $77M - roughly $107M adjusted for inflation - a record that was previously held by 2009's Avatar. The full list of domestic openings for Cameron's post-Terminator movies can be seen below:

  • The Terminator: $4M
  • Aliens: $10M
  • The Abyss: $9.3M
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day: 31.8M
  • True Lies: $25.9M
  • Titanic: $28.6M
  • Avatar: $77M

Avatar 2 Dominates The Box Office

Just as expected, Avatar: The Way of Water is dominating the box office and is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The 2009 flick saw its success continue for several months, and the sequel may well manage to do the same, with no real competition until February's Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Though, this time, there will undoubtedly be plenty more records before as The Way of Water leads the box office into 2023, just as Spider-Man: No Way Home did last year after its December 2021 release.

After previously describing the sequel's budget as “very f***ing [expensive],” James Cameron indicated that Avatar 2 would supposedly have to make upwards of $2B just to break even. Whether this was accurate is unclear, but if so, then the Pandora adventure is already halfway to that mountainous goal.

In order to achieve that level of success, The Way of Water will have to keep on winning at the box office for a long time to come. But as it will go almost completely uncontested, at least in the major blockbuster space, for all of January, the chance certainly remains there.

Avatar: The Way of Water is playing now in theaters worldwide.

- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.