James Cameron Becomes 1st Director With 3 Films to Gross Over $2 Billion Worldwide With 'Avatar 2'
20th Century Studios/Mark Fellman

'The Way of Water' is now becoming the first film in pandemic era and sixth in history to reach the milestone, joining the likes of 'Avatar', 'Avengers: Endgame', 'Titanic', 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' and 'Infinity War'.

AceShowbiz - "Avatar: The Way of Water" continues to live up to expectations. The epic sci-fi movie has grossed over $2 billion worldwide after six weeks in theaters, becoming the first film in pandemic era to reach the milestone.

The feat comes as the long-awaited sequel added an estimated $20 million in U.S. and Canadian theaters over the weekend. It has now earned a total of $598 million domestically and $1.4 billion internationally, pushing its global total to $2.024 billion.

With this feat, James Cameron has made history as the first filmmaker who has directed three movies that grossed over $2 billion. It is the sixth in history to reach the milestone, joining the likes of the original "Avatar", "Avengers: Endgame", Cameron's "Titanic", "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and "Avengers: Infinity War".

"The Way of Water" is the second-fastest to gross over $2 billion and is the sixth highest-grossing film of all time. It currently trails behind "The Force Awakens" ($2.07) and "Infinity War" ($2.04 billion) and will likely surpass both movies in the coming days.

"The film has now joined that very exclusive box office club and has made it look almost effortless," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. "Keeping in line with Cameron's 'king of the box office world' career trajectory it should come as no surprise that the justification for completion of the director's vision for the world of Pandora is now undeniably assured and given the stamp of approval by enthusiastic fans around the globe."

Cameron previously said that the movie needs to gross $2 billion to turn a profit. As his confidence grew in the weeks following the release, the filmmaker confirmed that more sequels have been greenlit. "It looks like with the momentum that the film has now that we'll easily pass our break even in the next few days, so it looks like I can't wiggle out of this and I'm gonna have to do these other sequels. I know what I'm going to be doing the next six or seven years," he said on "Who's Talking to Chris Wallace?" earlier this month.

On this week's domestic chart, "M3GAN" starts to lose its steam as it drops one place to No. 3 with an estimated $9.8 million, falling a sharp 46.5%. It swaps places with "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish" which now ranks second with approximately $11.5 million.

Debuting in the fourth place is a new mystery thriller, "Missing", with an estimated $9.3 million. It is a standalone sequel to 2018's "Searching" and centers on a young woman (Storm Reid), who takes matters into her own hands when her mother goes missing. Tom Hanks' "A Man Called Otto" trails behind at No. 5 with approximately $9 million.

Top 10 of North America Box Office (Jan. 20-22, 2023):

  1. "Avatar: The Way of Water" - $20 million
  2. "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish" - $11.5 million
  3. "M3GAN" - $9.8 million
  4. "Missing" - $9.3 million
  5. "A Man Called Otto" - $9 million
  6. "Plane" - $5.2 million
  7. "House Party" - $1.8 million
  8. "That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime the Movie: Scarlet Bond" - $1.4 million
  9. "The Whale" - $1.3 million
  10. "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" - $1.2 million

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