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.