Avatar: The Way of Water Overtakes Titanic , Becomes Third Highest-Grossing Movie Ever
20th Century Studios
Avatar: The Way of Water's box office results are still rising.
Over the weekend, the James Cameron-directed science fiction/fantasy sequel took Titanic's place as the third highest-grossing film of all time globally. The film has generated $2.243 billion globally since its release on Dec. 16, per a 20th Century Studios press release.
1997's Titanic, also directed by Cameron, 68, has made $2.242 billion globally since its release. On the domestic box office front, The Way of Water has now passed 1993's Jurassic Park, making it the ninth highest-grossing film of all-time in the U.S., according to the release.
After The Way of Water broke into the top three films of all-time, director Cameron has now made three of the top four movies on that list. His 2009 original Avatar stands tall as the highest-grossing film ever, while the sequel takes third place and Titanic slides into fourth after latest box office developments.
Marvel Studios' 2019 release Avengers: Endgame remains at No. 2 on the all-time list, making for the only non-Cameron directed film in the top four, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
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Gareth Cattermole/Getty; 20th Century Studios
Considering how "very f—ing" expensive the sequel was to make, as Cameron told GQ in November, the impressive box office showing has proved the movie maker's ability to churn out hit films. He even joked that The Way of Water would "have to be the third- or fourth-highest-grossing film in history" to just "break even," when making the case for the film to the studio.
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The Way of Water reached the billion-mark in just 14 days and passed $2 billion at the global box office just over one month after its release, according to Variety.
In December 2021, Cameron told Entertainment Weekly that, given the state of moviegoing amid the pandemic, he worried whether the sequel would be able to match Avatar's success.
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"The big issue is: Are we going to make any damn money? Big, expensive films have got to make a lot of money," said Cameron at the time. "We're in a new world post-COVID, post-streaming. Maybe those [box office] numbers will never be seen again. Who knows? It's all a big roll of the dice."
Avatar: The Way of Water stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver, Kate Winslet, Stephen Lang and more. It earned Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award nominations for best picture, as well as four nominations at the upcoming Academy Awards, including for Best Picture.