Disney, Universal

James Cameron’s “Avatar: The Way of Water” is set to dominate box office charts in its second weekend.

After taking in a very healthy $16 million on Monday following its $134 million opening debut, the film is set to pass the $500 million mark worldwide by today and should hit the $1 billion mark by year’s end.

Now, Variety is reporting that over the Christmas weekend, the film is projected to decline by around only 40-50% from its debut which would see ticket sales sit in the $67-80 million range.

The film is also expected to continue posting big numbers during the days leading up to Christmas.

Its most serious competition comes in the form of the animated sequel “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” which is expected to have its own impressive opening with projections of around $25-30 million.

That’s near the $34 million the first film opened to in 2011, ahead of a $554 million global gross. With a cost-effective $90 million budget, the family feature will likely do quite well for Universal even if it falls short of the original.

Damien Chazelle’s R-rated “Babylon,” which has divided critics, and the Whitney Houston biopic “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” are both tracking for $12-15 million each and will battle it out for the third spot. “Babylon,” which boasts an “Avatar”-size runtime, will need to perform well internationally to justify its $78 million cost.


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