James Cameron, Avatar, box office, China

With $661 million worldwide as of Dec. 22 and swimming circles around $900M worldwide after weekend earnings bubble to the surface, Avatar: The Way of Water is sinking in China with only $80M during the first eight days of release. The film also experienced a 78% attendance drop from one Friday to the next. While it may feel as if the world is obsessed with James Cameron’s latest special-effects-driven spectacle, China remains an outlier.

Cameron and 20th Century Studios want Avatar: The Way of Water to be an undeniable hit in every part of the world. Still, China needed more regarding film promotion than other territories. China still needs to work on Covid-related issues, making residents hesitant about occupying packed theaters. Additionally, Avatar: The Way of Water did not crank the PR machine in China like in other parts of the world. While the film is inescapable in the United States and Canada, China focuses on other matters.

Unfortunately, nasty weather will impact box office totals for the holiday weekend. Wicked storms are brewing, and governments recommend people remain indoors for the bulk of Christmas weekend. As of this morning, Winter Storm Elliott has left more than 1 million customers without power, with wind chills causing temperatures to drop between the -20 to -30 degree range.

Avatar: The Way of Water was up only 1% from Wednesday with $14.5M for a week’s total of $197.5M at 4,202 theaters, 4% behind the first week of Top Gun: Maverick, which received a boost thanks to its Memorial day release. On its eighth day in theaters, Avatar 2 is sure to cross the $200M milestone in the United States and Canada.

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Meanwhile, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is lapping at a two-day total of $6.1M in the United |States and Canada across 4,099 theaters. As for Tri-Star/Black Label’s Whitney Houston biopic I Wanna Dance With Somebody, the drama starring Naomi Ackie as the world-famous pop star earned $730K from 3,093 locations. While the film’s total is small compared to other releases, it’s important to note the movie just hit theaters and still has time to make an impression at the box office.

Do you plan to brave the wicked weather for an afternoon at the theater this weekend? If so, what will you see? Feel free to let us know in the comments.



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