Weekend Box Office: Avatar: The Way of Water officially passes the $2 Billion mark

As expected, Avatar: The Way of Water finished in first place this weekend while increasing its worldwide take to over $2 Billion.

James Cameron has revealed that Jake Sully and Neytiri's son Lo'ak will be replacing his father as narrator on Avatar 3

Another weekend has come and gone. If you are a Jacksonville Jaguars or New York Giants fan, perhaps it wasn’t the best weekend for you (as a 49er fan, my weekend is still looking bright!) If football isn’t your cup of tea, perhaps you took the opportunity to check out a delightful feature film at your local theater. Much to the surprise of no one, Avatar: The Way of Water has topped the charts for the sixth week in a row with an estimated take of $19.6 million, raising its domestic total to just under $600 million. At this time last year, Spider-Man: No Way Home pulled in $14 million in its sixth week of release, which I only note as Avatar 2 officially took its spot in sixth place on the All-Time Worldwide box office chart earlier this week. The film has officially surpassed the $2 billion mark at the worldwide box office (becoming only the sixth film to ever do so). It has just over $50 million to go before it can take down Avengers: Infinity War ($2.052 billion)to become a top five all-time earner.

Climbing up the charts to a second-place finish is the animated family hit Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, with an estimated $11.5 million after five weeks of release. This is quite impressive for the Antonio Banderas-led film that had a bit of a soft opening ($12.4 million). Strong word of mouth and lack of competition has seen this film thrive, especially considering that it has been available on demand for a few weeks. 

M3GAN 2, release date

Third place belongs to the killer doll M3GAN, with an additional $9.8 million added to its impressive domestic haul, which currently sits at $73.2 million. These are solid numbers for a PG13 horror film in its third week of release. The good news is you won’t have to wait long to see the story continue, as M3GAN 2.0 has already been scheduled to hit theaters on January 17, 2025.

In my original predictions on Thursday, I mentioned that we would see a couple of dog fights this weekend. Although I did get the participants wrong, I was right that the difference between fourth and fifth place this week is just $300,000 as the new release thriller Missing is reported to have pulled in $9.3 million in its opening weekend while A Man Called Otto was able to snag $9 million in its fourth week of release (of course, only two of those weeks were in over three thousand theaters). Otto is benefitting from great word of mouth (I saw it the other day and thought it was quite good, but it is definitely more of a drama than a comedy, which isn’t to say there aren’t scenes of genuine gut-level laughter!) In addition to the $9 million earned this weekend, the Tom Hanks-led film has been seeing some solid weekday numbers and should leg out to a healthy finish once it’s all said and done.

Sony has unveiled a trailer for the Searching follow-up Missing, starring Storm Reid and Nia Long. Coming in January.

The good news for Missing is: that $9.3 million represents $2.3 million over its reported production budget of $7 million. Suppose the film can garner some good word of mouth (with a 92% audience score, it should have no problem doing so). In that case, Missing should be considered a profitable endeavor by the studio in no time (Yes, this weekend did recoup its production budget, but that doesn’t include marketing costs and other factors that make a film need to earn well over its budget to be considered profitable.)

Plane and House Party took a bit of a tumble in their second weeks, with $5.2 million and $1.7 million made, respectively. For Plane, that represents a loss of 49% from last weekend, while House Party lost 55% of its audience. Even though Plane has garnered decent reviews (including an 8/10 from our own Chris Bumbray), the film doesn’t appear to generate the same strong response as other films currently in theaters. As for House Party, I think the theatrical release for this was 100% in favor of boosting its performance once it hits HBO Max in a matter of weeks. A big screen push gives the film more attention and press than if it had just been dumped on streaming, as was the original plan for this remake. You can look at this very article as proof of that. We have talked about the film two weeks in a row in our Box Office Coverage but had it just been dumped on streaming, and we would have had no reason to include it. 

Coming in eighth place is the Crunchyroll Studios release of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime The Movie: Scarlet Bond, with an estimated $1.4 million on just under 1500 screens. This is definitely not the behemoth other recent Crunchyroll Studios films have been (including the $20 million debut of Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero back in August and the $9.4 million finish of November’s One Piece Film: Red.) I am not the biggest Anime fan, so I don’t know where the fandom lies in each respective property, but a top-ten finish for a lesser-known property is nothing to turn your nose up at.

The final two spots of the top ten belong to a pair of Oscar Front Runners, with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever adding $1.3 million to its box office as the legendary Angela Bassett had officially moved into front-runner status in the Supporting Actress category (not to toot my own horn, but I did call that when the film was originally released:

Angela Bassett deserves some recognition for her role in this film. There is a scene in this movie where, if you take away all the “super hero-ness” of the movie and just watch it as a mother in mourning, it is one of the most powerful scenes I have seen in any Marvel film (with maybe the only exception being the funeral scene from Endgame). With only one Oscar nomination under her belt for What’s Love Got To Do With It, I think it is time to give this tremendous talent her due and get her in the awards conversation for her sensational portrayal of the grieving Queen Ramonda.

If she wins, I won’t take full credit, but maybe a shout-out in her acceptance speech would be nice!

Tenth place belongs to Brendan Fraser and his amazing performance in The Whale with a $1.2 million weekend. If you haven’t seen The Whale yet, do yourself a favor and check it out, not just for Fraser’s truly remarkable performance but also for a tremendous supporting turn from Hong Chau, who I hope is one of the five names mentioned for Supporting Actress in Tuesday’s Academy Award Nominations.

Did you make it to theaters this weekend, or were the NFL Divisional championship games all you needed? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to check out our poll where we ask: What is your favorite Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winner.

1 Avatar: The Way of Water $19.6 M $597.9 M
2 Puss in Boots: The Last Wish $11.5 M $126.4 M
3 M3GAN $9.8 M $73.2 M
4 Missing $9.3 M $9.3 M
5 A Man Called Otto $9.0 M $35.3 M
6 Plane $5.2 M $19.4 M
7 House Party (2023) $1.7 M $7.1 M
8 That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime The Movie: Scarlet Bond $1.4 M $1.4 M
9 Black Panther: Wakanda Forever $1.3 M $451.8 M
10 The Whale $1.2 M $13.1 M
Source: Comscore

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!