Box Office Predictions: Nothing new to stand in the way of Avatar 2

Avatar: The Way of Water, Avatar 3, one movie

The last weekend of 2022 will not offer anything new to viewers outside of New York and Los Angeles as this is what is known as a “Holdover Weekend” due to New Years Eve not being a big movie-going holiday. Add to that the fact that thousands of Southwest airline travelers still aren’t home from their holiday vacations, and you have the makings of a fairly uneventful closing to the 2022 movie calendar. 

The good news however is that there is one movie that seems to be putting butts in seats and that is James Cameron’s epic Avatar: The Way of Water. The film finished its second weekend with a solid $63.3 million and then had massive Monday and Tuesday showings with $32.2 million and $24.1 million respectively as the film officially crossed the $1 billion mark globally in just under two weeks of release. Any question on whether this sequel was a success or not should be put to rest. It is! If we compare this release to last years Spider-Man: No Way Home which was the top grossing film in the same time frame, we see just a 33% drop from its second weekend to its third (although that film had a 67.5% drop in its second weekend compared to Avatar’s 52.8% decline. Of course Spider-Man had further to fall as it opened to over $260 million compared to Avatar’s $134 million.) I’m going to say this film has a much better hold as Avatar truly is a theatrical experience that audiences are patiently waiting to see if they can’t get the best seats and others are seeing again and again before that big screen experience is gone. I see Avatar: The Way of Water’s third weekend coming in between $50-$55 million with a less than 20% drop.

Second place will be Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. The animated sequel had a pretty soft opening last weekend but had fairly decent numbers on Monday and Tuesday. With no real family competition in the pipeline for quite some time, Puss in Boots can play the long game on its path to success. There is even a good chance this one can actually gain from last weekends $12.4 million opening. Given its strong 94% audience score and A cinemascore, this one will have solid word of mouth. A $15 million weekend is not out of the realm of possibility for the swashbuckling feline. 

I Wanna Dance With Somebody

Of last weeks bombs, the one with the strongest possibility to come out ahead this week is Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody. The film has received middling reviews (including a 6/10 from our own Chris Bumbray) but with nothing new in the marketplace right now, some people may get to the theater and say “sure, why not” to the 2 hour and 24 minute biopic. A $4.5 million weekend isn’t out of the realm of possibility.


The same can not be said for Damien Chazelle’s 1920’s set tale of Hollywood excess Babylon. This is one of the more talked about box office bombs in recent memory. Perhaps when the film hits home video, people will be more apt to hunker down for a 3 hour and 9 minute tale of R rated debauchery. But even with its award nominations racking up (72 nominations in total including 9 from the Critics Choice Awards and 5 from the Golden Globes) the news of how badly the film tanked is more prevalent than any news about the actual film. I will say this: the movie is pretty good for the majority of its run time, but at a certain point you kind of realize that there were some scenes that probably could have been trimmed or cut entirely to get the film down to a more serviceable 2 and a half hours. That isn’t to say there isn’t genius on display here, just a little too much! And that is coming from someone who counts La La Land as his third all time favorite movie and had both Whiplash and First Man on his year end best of lists in their respective years of release. Due to the lack of new releases, Babylon still has a shot at making the top five this weekend with around $2.5 million, but don’t expect it to stick around too much longer. I do wonder if this one will eventually achieve cult status or will it fade into obscurity? Only time will tell.

A trailer and poster have been unveiled for the psychological thriller Alice, Darling, starring Anna Kendrick. Coming soon to theatres.

Coming in slightly ahead of Babylon this weekend will be Black Panther: Wakanda Forever with around $4 million while the rest of the top ten will be your holdovers Violent Night, The Menu, The Fabelmans, The Whale (a lot of “The” movies out right now) and Strange World.

If you are one of those people who currently reside in New York or Los Angeles you actually have two new releases to look out for: the Tom Hanks starring A Man Called Otto begins its limited rollout in the two cities before its January 13th wide release while the Anna Kendrick starring Alice, Darling opens in just one theater (the AMC Sunset 5 in Los Angeles) before going wide on January 20th exclusively in AMC theaters. 

Will you be making it out to theaters this weekend for a delightful feature film? If so, please let us know in the comments what you plan on seeing (or give recommendations to the rest of us) and don’t forget to check back in on Saturday when we have a brief update on this weekends numbers.


  1. Avatar: The Way of Water$53 Million
  2. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish$15 Million
  3. Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody$4.5 Million
  4. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever$4 Million
  5. Babylon$2.5 Million

About the Author

318 Articles Published

Brad grew up loving movies and wanting to work in the industry. Graduated from Full Sail University in 2007 before moving to Los Angeles where I was fortunate enough to join SAG-Aftra in 2012. I love every second I get to write about movies for Joblo!