MONDAY AM UPDATE: Sunday came in stronger for Avatar: The Way of Water than Disney expected, grossing a great $24.4M to what was thought to be $21M. That’s the third biggest New Year’s Day haul of all-time after The Force Awakens ($34.3M) and James Cameron’s first Avatar ($25.2M). Avatar 2‘s New Year’s Day was even bigger than that of Spider-Man: No Way Home ($23.1M) last year.
The third weekend of the James Cameron title rises to $66.8M, +6% from its Christmas weekend, with a 4-day of $86.3M. By the end of today, it’s expected that Avatar 2 will pass the $440.9M 18-day total of Rogue One with $444.4M. Why is that such a big deal? Because that 2016 Star Wars prequel has been used as the comp for this mega-tentpole, which was slower out of the gate than tracking initially forecasted. 2016 was the last time that Christmas fell on a Sunday, and New Year’s Day 2017 too.
Avatar 2‘s $24.4M Sunday also bests Rogue One‘s New Year’s Day gross of $16.7M.
SUNDAY AM, NEW YEAR’S DAY: While New Year’s Eve is typically a better moviegoing day than Christmas Eve, business was still down yesterday at -27% from Friday for all movies. That’s a similar decline to last weekend’s Friday-to-Christmas Eve (-26%). However, New Year’s Eve made more than Christmas Eve, $27.9M to $22.2M. Moviegoing is expected to be +19% on New Year’s Day today, and there will be an extra cushion in Monday, Jan. 2, as many typically have off in honor of the Sunday holiday. Per our sources, weather wasn’t an issue this weekend.
Disney/20th/Lightstorm’s Avatar: The Way of Water did $18M yesterday, taking its running total to $400M. Revised 3-day is $63.4M (+2% from last weekend, great), and 4-day is $82.4M, for a new domestic cume by EOD Monday of $440.5M. If those Disney estimates stick, Avatar 2 will be $400K shy of Rogue One‘s running total through its first 18 days. It took Rogue One another two weeks before it crossed the half billion mark stateside, the pic’s final total being $532.1M.
Through end of Sunday, Disney is reporting a $1.37 billion running global total for Avatar 2. Also by Monday, the 3D spectacle will pass the running domestic box office of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ($439.6M). By hitting $400M yesterday, Avatar 2 officially becomes the third Disney title to cross that threshold after Black Panther 2 and Doctor Strange 2 for 2022.
Rivals got excited and over-forecasted Avatar 2 for the 3-day and 4-day stretch, believing Saturday would be a $19.6M-$19.8M day. Again, today and Monday could put the James Cameron-directed, Jon Landau-produced sequel back on course to wild money.
Imax auditoriums added $8.4M to this weekend’s gross, -6% from last weekend, and repping 13.2% of 3-day ticket sales. Imax has racked up $55.3M from Avatar 2 so far in North America.
Sony’s A Man Called Otto at four NYC and LA sites is looking at $60K for the 3-day ($15K theater average) and a 4-day of $75K.
The second weekend of United Artists Releasing’s Women Talking at 8 sites did $42K, +3%, with a 4-day of $53K and running total of $159K. Next weekend, the Sarah Polley-directed drama goes to 30 runs in ten markets, with another expansion on Jan. 13. The pic is 89% certified fresh with critics on Rotten Tomatoes, with an 88% audience score. Polley’s screenplay and composer Hildur Guðnadóttir’s score are up for Golden Globes on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
The rest of the weekend is as follows:
1) Avatar: The Way of Water (Dis/20th) 4,202 theaters, Fri $24.4M (+27%), Sat $18M Sun $21M Mon $18.95M 3-day $63.4M (+2%)/4-day $82.4M/Total: $440.5M/ Wk 3
2) Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (Uni) 4,121 (+22) theaters, Fri $6.5M (+70%) Sat $4.66M Sun $5.1M Mon $5.4M 3-day $16.3M (+31%), 4-day $21.7M/Total $66.1M/Wk 2
3) Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Dis) 2,310 (+60) theaters, Fri $1.82M (+82%) Sat $1.3M Sun $1.7M Mon $1.67M 3 day $4.83M (+38%)/4-day $6.5M/Total $439.6M/Wk 8
4) I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Sony) 3,625 theaters, Fri $1.46M (-27%) Sat $1.22M Sun $1.59M Mon $1.15M 3-day $4.25M (-11%) 4-day $5.4M/Total $16MWk 2
5) Babylon (Par) 3,351 (+8) theaters Fri $935K (-36%) Sat $730K Sun $1.06M Mon $900K 3-day $2.7M (-24%) 4-day $3.6M/Total $11M/Wk 2
6) Violent Night (Uni) 2,563 (+1) Fri $820K Sat $560K Sun $750K Mon $540K 3-day $2.1M (-39%) 4-day $2.67M Total $48M/Wk 5
7) The Whale (A24) 623 (+20) theaters, Fri $491,5K (+64%), Sat $372,9K Sun $466,1K Mon $419,5K 3-day $1.33M (+28%) 4-day $1.75M Total $6.2M/Wk 4
8) Fabelmans (Uni/Amb) 1,149 (+27) theaters, Fri $320K (+157%) Sat $400K Sun $420K Mon $360K 3 day $1.14M (+53%), 4-day $1.5M Total $12.5M/Wk 8
9)The Menu (Sea) 860 (+20) theaters, Fri $386K (+121%) Sat $279K Sun $405K Mon $330K 3-day $1.07M (+58%) 4-Day $1.4M Total $36.4M/Wk 7
10.) Strange World (Dis) 1,240 (-150) theaters, Fri $201K (+39%) Sat $157K Sun $180K Mon $209K 3-day $538K (+30%), 4-day $747K, Total $37.2M/Wk 6
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.
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.
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.
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 by more than 80% 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 theater with around $18M in box office for the year, followed by AMC Empire at No. 2 theater in the U.S. with $14.5M.
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 third 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 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.
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 $55K and 4-day of $70K. The 3-day theater average looks to be $13,750.
The rest of the box office is as follows for December 30, 2022-January 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 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.
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.
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 ahead of 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.