‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ receives mixed responses at box office

Devdiscourse News Desk | New York | Updated: 19-12-2022 18:36 IST | Created: 19-12-2022 18:36 IST
 ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ receives mixed responses at box office
Image Credit: Disney / Avatar 2
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James Cameron's film, Avatar: The Way of Water released on December 16, 2022.  The expensive and much-anticipated sequel opened below expectations with $134 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales but performed well in several countries. Cameron’s film would “have to be the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history” to break even.

Disney and 20th Century’s Avatar 2 opened in China over the weekend to $57.1 million, as per THR. The growing COVID-19 cases in Beijing and other major Chinese cities are are affecting the movie’s box office collections in China.

However, the film did well in several other countries. Avatar: The Way of Water crossed ₹100-crore benchmark in the net collection in India on Sunday. Other markets in the top five include South Korea ($24.7 million), France ($19.3 million) and Germany ($19.9 million) which saw their best openings since the start of the pandemic.

According to the distributor Walt Disney Co., in overseas markets, Avatar 2 added $301 million for a global total of roughly $435 million through Sunday. The film became the tenth-highest-grossing film of 2022 and received positive reviews from critics, who lauded its visual effects and technical achievement but criticized its thin narrative and lengthy runtime. 

Several organizations like the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute named ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ one of the top ten films of 2022. The film also received numerous other accolades, including nominations for Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Director at the 80th Golden Globe Awards.

Cameron said the humongous box office earnings of the 2009 movie (over USD 2 billion), set on a fictional moon inhabited by a native tribe called Navi, gave him an opening to the people's hearts and minds.

In a virtual group interview to the press, he said, ''The feedback from the world in all cultures was that we want more of this. That's what people said afterward. It was too short. I didn't want to leave, I wanted to stay there. As an artist, I've already got an avenue right into the hearts and minds of people around the world.''

Cameron also said that he had to do a lot of introspection before making the sequel as well as further follow-ups, which are already in various stages of production.

''I had to think about it for a few years before I decided to go ahead. It wasn't a snap decision or a no-brainer.

''I had to ask myself as a filmmaker, as an artist, and as somebody who has a lot of other things that I like to do, like exploration and sustainability causes, -- is this something I want to do and devote my life to? Because that's really what you do when you make a movie like this,” added the filmmaker.

Taking the example of Steven Spielberg’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Cameron stated,''Steven Spielberg never made 'E.T.', the highest-grossing film in the world at that time, but he didn't make another film... We don't want to tempt fate and the gods of cinema. So I had to weigh all this out, but I eventually decided to go ahead and here we are today, not with just one movie, but with another one to follow and hopefully more beyond that.''

Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Stephen Lang, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Giovanni Ribisi, Dileep Rao, and Matt Gerald reprise their roles from the original film Avatar (2009). Sigourney Weaver will also return but in a different role. New cast members include Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Edie Falco and Jemaine Clement.

Avatar 2 continues the story from the first sequel of the epic science fiction movie.  In the film, Jake Sully (Worthington) and his family explore the oceans of Pandora to meet the Metkayina clan.

Avatar: The Way of Water starts more than a decade after the Navi repelled the human invasion of Pandora. Jake Sully lives as chief of the Omaticaya clan with a happy family with Neytiri, his sons Neteyam and Lo'ak and his daughter Tuk, his adopted daughter Kiri, and a human boy named Spider.  But to the Na'vi's dismay, humans return to Pandora to prepare it for humanity's resettlement, as Earth is dying.

Avatar 2 is currently premiering in theatres worldwide. Stay tuned to Devdiscourse for more updates on Hollywood movies!

Also Read: 80th Golden Globes: Here's the complete list of nominations

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