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Movie Tuesday: ‘Way of Water’ Splashes to Third Win

avatar way of water

With no new releases in theaters last weekend (and just one major newcomer—White Noise—on the streaming services), Avatar: The Way of Water had no trouble floating to a third-straight victory. In fact, it didn’t skip a beat.

The Way of Water earned an estimated $63.4 million in North America during the three-day New Year’s weekend. It garnered $63.3 million during the Christmas weekend just seven days earlier. It’s rare for a movie to increase its grosses week-over-week—but keep in mind, Christmas was frigid. Plenty of folks just wanted to sit at home and eat their Christmas candy.

The second Avatar movie has now earned $440.5 million in North America, if you count Monday’s estimates as well—finishing 2022 in second place behind Top Gun: Maverick ($718.7 million). Add in money from overseas, and The Way of Water has collected just about $1.4 billion—less than $100 million away from besting Maverick as 2022’s biggest movie worldwide.

The Way of Water still hasn’t earned quite enough to turn a profit. But there’s no question it has plenty of, um, liquid assets.

In terms of weekend-over-weekend earnings, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish fared even better than Avatar 2, percentage-wise. As you recall, The Last Wish only scratched up about $12.5 million over the Christmas weekend. New Year’s weekend brought in another $16.3 million—a meow-worthy upswing of 31%—to bring its overall domestic tally to $60.7 million. Worldwide, the Puss in Boots sequel has earned a purrfectly fine $135 million in two weeks.

Meanwhile, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever jumped up three spots to claim third place and another $4.8 million (bringing its total domestic tally to $438 million). Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody had a difficult time finding enough dancing partners this week. The biopic slid to fourth with $4.3 million. Babylon closed out the top five with $2.7 million.

Adam R. Holz

After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews as the site’s director. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. In their free time, the Holzes enjoy playing games, a variety of musical instruments, swimming and … watching movies.