‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Tops List of Most-Anticipated Movies of December | Chart

A 13-year wait hasn’t dampened enthusiasm for an “Avatar” sequel, with “Avatar: The Way of Water” topping Whip Media’s rankings of the most anticipated movies of December.

The upcoming film — written, directed and produced by James Cameron — is set to hit theaters in the U.S. on Dec. 16. Returning cast members include Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana, while Sigourney Weaver will also make a comeback, albeit in a different role than the first flick. “The Way of Water” is the first of four planned sequels Cameron has lined up for the “Avatar” universe.

Whip Media’s rankings are based on the responses of U.S. users of the TV Time app, its movie and TV show tracking app with more than 24 million global registered users.

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Another sequel grabbed second place for the month, with “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” coming in behind “The Way of Water.” Of course, “Glass Onion” just wrapped up a limited theatrical run that saw the Rian Johnson film pull in $13 million during the five-day Thanksgiving window. Still, many fans are anxiously waiting for the film to hit Netflix on Dec. 23 — a.k.a. Festivus — before seeing it for the first time.

The bronze medal for December, meanwhile, goes to “Babylon.” The upcoming period drama-comedy, featuring an ensemble cast that includes Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, will follow a number of characters grappling with Hollywood’s transition from silent to sound films. “Babylon” is also set to hit theaters on Dec. 23 in the U.S.

The sequel theme picked back up in the fourth spot, with “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” which comes 11 years after the first “Puss in Boots” movie came out. The new computer-animated flick will see Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek reprise their voice roles from the first movie.

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Whitney Houston is the latest music icon to have a biographical film made about their life — and fans seem pretty excited about it. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” which will chronicle Houston’s life, is the fifth most-anticipated movie of December, per Whip Media’s data. Naomi Ackie, the 30-year-old British actress best known for her role as Jannah in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” will play Houston in the film.

Tom Hanks will star in the sixth-ranked flick, “A Man Called Otto,” a comedy-drama about a man who decides to kill himself after his wife dies and he loses his job. His suicide attempts are repeatedly interrupted by his neighbors, though, who end up forging an unlikely friendship with the 60-something-year-old Otto. The film is based on a popular 2012 novel by Fredrik Backman.

“Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical” may have already debuted in November in the U.K., but American movie fans are looking forward to its U.S. debut on Dec. 9, with the musical coming in seventh place overall.

10 most-anticipated movies of December 2022, U.S. (Whip Media)
10 most-anticipated movies of December 2022, U.S. (Whip Media)

The first streaming-exclusive movie to make the December list comes in at No. 8 with Amazon Prime Video’s “Something From Tiffany’s,” a rom-com starring Zoey Deutch.

The ninth most-anticipated movie is an interesting inclusion: “Troll,” a Norwegian horror flick about — you guessed it — an ancient troll. “Troll” has the earliest release date of any movie on the list, with it scheduled to debut on Dec. 1 on Netflix.

Rounding out the top 10 is Will Smith’s “Emancipation,” a historical action film set in 1863. The film, directed by Antoine Fuqua, follows Smith as a former slave who escapes from a Louisiana plantation and heads north to join the Union Army. “Emancipation” has a limited release on Dec. 2 before hitting Apple TV+ on Dec. 9.

Sean Burch is a marketing insights analyst at Whip Media, a WrapPRO partner. Click here for more from Whip Media.

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